Leaner Cabinet is here
Wednesdays will never be the same for followers of The Malawi Exclusive and all manner of people who love Malawi as a country. This column will be discussing matters of national interest.
For sure, it is not in the interest of the writer to have everybody agree with his opinion on any national issue raised in the column but it is healthy to agree to disagree in a democratic dispensation. In fact, I would like to receive your feedback through (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that together, we can shape the Malawi we want.
President Lazarus Chakwera addressed the nation on January 1, 2023, and he told expectant Malawians that he is reconstituting his cabinet within the month. One thing that came out clear was that the cabinet will be leaner with no “dead wood.”
This was not a pleasant happy New Year message to some especially members of the current cabinet. However, to the majority Malawians, it called for celebration. For a long time, people have observed that a huge cabinet bill has burdened Malawi for a long time when its national purse remains pathetically small. Rightly observed, Malawi can do without some ministerial portfolios and deputy cabinet ministers because there are principal secretaries that run ministries, departments, and heads of agencies.
However, our leaders, I mean presidents, are caught up in a quandary to stick to their promise of a lean cabinet because of the behavior of some of those that feel entitled to these privileged positions.
For starters, Malawi has a population of about 20 million people. At the worst, Malawi has had a cabinet of 42 members and that was during Bakili Muluzi’s last presidency days.
It is, therefore, surprising why some people feel being left out of the cabinet is a grave crime a President can commit against them when millions of others are also not included. To be honest, even if you were to hold a ministerial position for 48 hours, it is still an honour and part of your history that cannot be erased.
But what happens? Once the President drops some members from the cabinet, we see them rebelling against the leadership. We have seen others dumping the ruling party to join the opposition parties in anger. Selfishness and self-gratification are the centre of it all and not the good of the country.
Because of this kind of behavior, Presidents have been skeptical to make their cabinet leaner to avoid disappointing others or weakening their parties. This time around, Chakwera has said it very loud and clear. He will not take on board passengers. He wants people that will support him in delivering the national agenda. On top of that, the President has also been candid in telling the nation that he wants to reduce the number of cabinet ministers. He wants a small cabinet that is in tandem with our economy.
It is time for all well-meaning Malawians to support the President including those that will be dropped or whose wishes to be included in the cabinet are not satisfied. We cannot all be in the cabinet even if we feel we deserve or are entitled. Let us not feel aggrieved. Let us say thank you to the President for allowing us to serve in those positions. It is a lifetime opportunity and experience to hold that portfolio.
Mr. President, fulfill your wish for a leaner cabinet without fearing the repercussions. Malawians are with you and more importantly, God is with you.