CAMA faults Ministers of Finance, Tourism, Education, Health, Local Government and RBM Governor as Chakwera’s “weakest link” in reviving the economy

Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe signing an agreement which Malawians have widely criticised

* These are key Ministries that can drive your vision and deliver your Hi-5 Agenda

* Unfortunately, over time, these key Ministries and institutions are struggling and suffering from poor leadership

* The Cabinet has failed as can be evidenced by the current poor quality of service delivery from various Government departments

By Duncan Mlanjira

Consumer Association of Malawi (CAMA) contends that President Lazarus Chakwera needs the support of an effective, capable and professional Cabinet that can transform his vision and deliver his Hi-5 Agenda, “which unfortunately has failed as can be evidenced by the current poor quality of service delivery from various Government departments”.

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In a statement issued on Wednesday, November 30, CAMA Executive Director, John Kapito has singled out Ministers of Finance, Sosten Gwengwe); of Tourism, Michael Usi; of Education Agnes Nyalonje; of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda; of Local Government as well as the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor, Dr. Wilson Banda as “the weakest link in [Chakwera’s] efforts to improve the lives of poor Malawians”.

Michael Usi

Agnes Nyalonje

Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda

Dr. Wilson Banda

“These are key Ministries that can drive your vision and deliver your Hi-5 Agenda,” Kapito said. “Unfortunately, over time, these key Ministries and institutions are struggling and suffering from poor leadership despite their importance to the development of Malawians.

“It is your prerogative, Mr. President, to choose Cabinet Ministers but the choice and quality of Ministers you choose is a reflection of yourself as a leader,” said Kapito, while emphasizing he should honour his recent pledge he made “which many Malawians had received with high expectations considering the quality of the current Cabinet”.

“The promise for a Cabinet reshuffle has been one of the many frequently made promises by the State President since he came into power and we are yet to see a full Cabinet reshuffle as promised.

“Our appeal to the State President is, for once, please fulfil this Cabinet reshuffle promise. Malawians are currently going through serious economic and social challenges and we hope that the promise by the State President to reshuffle his Cabinet was influenced by the desire to appoint a better and capable team of Ministers to serve Malawians better.”

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Kapito further asks Chakwera that as he reshuffles or appoints his Cabinet, Chakwera should seriously consider trimming some Ministries like that of National Unity — held by Timothy Pagonachi Mtambo, saying this Ministry and a few others can be merged into others.

“This particular Ministry of Unity has no place and space in the current Malawi and is a waste of public resources,” he said. “You need to consider seriously the quality of people you would want to appoint as Ministers for the purposes of recovering this economy and to serve many Malawians that are currently economically and socially displaced.”

Thus he appeals that he should “seriously consider appointing well matured experienced and capable Malawians for the key Ministries of Finance; Tourism; Education; Health; Local Government and RBM Governor.

Chakwera seems to keep tripping up over some decisions that those sorrounding his administration — including the Cabinet — that evolves around high corruption cases and the arrest of his Vice-President Saulos Chilima over Zuneth Sattar saga; bogus procurement of fertilizer through a ghost company in UK; crop inputs procurement under agricultural input program (AIP); fuel procurement deals gone sour and several other blunders.

Social media is awash of criticism of the purported US$6.8 billion (over K7 trillion) agreement signed by Malawi Government and little-known BRIDGIN Foundation of Belgium made on Monday at Kamuzu Palace.

A statement from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) faults government for signing the agreement without undertaking careful due diligence.

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Through spokesperson Shadric Namalomba, the DPP claims says the existence of BRIDGIN Foundation asks so many unanswered questions, saying the whole deal was done out of desperation.

Former RBM Governor, Dalitso Kabambe also faulted this agreement, saying: “There are always crooks out there ready to swindle governments. When I was within the system, we were always met by those offers — promises and cheap lies.

“The rule of the thumb always remained that if it sounded too good to be true, then it was not true. A little research on some of the offers always revealed that the offer was a scam. But this government is desperate and in that desperation it has been a victim of cheap scams.

“The other day, it was fertiliser. Then we heard on fuel. Now, apparently, there is a grant in a region of billions of US dollars. The terms of the agreement are as vague as the institution offering the money.

“Simple lesson in economics — there is no shortcut to financial and economic stability. You put in the work. You make the sacrifices. Izi zamadulira mukuchita apazi, we will be sending our officers again across the world to chase money swindled from government,” Kabambe wrote on his Facebook page.

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