By Kondanani Chilimunthaka
Last night President Lazarus Chakwera has named nine full Cabinet Ministers and eight Deputies to bring his Cabinet to twenty-one full Cabinet Ministers with eight deputies to a total of 29 Cabinet Members excluding him and his vice.
A press release in our possession from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) which has been signed by the Secretary to the office, Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi has seen President Chakwera making some drastic changes by bringing into his cabinet some new faces while moving other members in his previous cabinet to other ministries, with some previous Cabinet Members becoming casualties of the cabinet dissolution that President Chakwera made few days ago.
“These final appointments bring the total number of Cabinet appointees to 29, consisting of 12 women(41%) and 17 men(59%) in compliance with Section 11(1) of the Gender Equality Act,2013, not counting His Excellency the President and His Honour the Vice President, who are in Cabinet by their election and not appointment. His Excellency, the President remains the Minister of Defence whereas His Honour the Vice President will continue to be for Public Sector Reforms.” The communique has read in part.
Among the new faces, President Chakwera has surprisingly included MCP vice President for the North, Harry Mlekanjala Mkandawire as Deputy Minister for Defence whose Minister is the President himself.
He has also named the following to be part of his new Cabinet:
Hon. Sosten Alfred Gwengwe (Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs from being Minister of Trade). Gwengwe has replaced Felix Mulusu while combining Economic Affairs which was headed by Vice President in the previous cabinet. Hon. Nancy Tembo has been moved to head Ministry of Foreign Affairs (formerly of Hon. Eisenhower Mkaka)from the Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources, Hon. Jean Muonaowauza Sendeza is now Minister of Homeland Security which was previously headed by Hon. Richard Chimwendo Banda who is now Minister of Youth and Sports replacing Ulemu Msungama who is completely missing on the new list. Sendeza was previously Deputy Minister of Defence.
Further President Chakwera’ new Cabinet has Hon. Eisenhower Nduwa Mkaka as new Minister of Natural Resources and Climate Change from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Timothy Mtambo and Hon. Gospel Kazako have maintained their Ministerial positions of National Unity and Information respectively, with few changes to their Ministries as that of Mtambo is now Ministry of National Unity from being called Civic Education and National Unity, while that of Kazako changes from Ministry of Information to Information and Digitisation.
In his last named Cabinet, Chakwera has included new faces of Hon. Albert Mbawala to head Ministry of Mining previously headed by R. Gaffar, while Hon. Ibrahim Matola has been drafted in to head Ministry of Energy which has gone months without a full Minister following the firing of Newton Kambala as its Minister.
The possessed list of Cabinet Members has the following as Deputy Ministers as appointed by President Chakwera: Hon. Harry Mkandawire (Deputy Minister of Defence), Hon. Nancy Chaola Mdooko(Deputy Minister of Transport and Public Works), Hon. Madalitso Wirima Kambauwa(Deputy Minister of Agriculture), Hon. Halima Alima Daud(Deputy Minister of Local Government), Hon. Deus Gumba(Deputy Minister of Lands), Hon. Enock Phale(Deputy Minister of Health), Hon. John Bande(Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation), and Hon. Monica Chang’anamuno(Deputy Minister of Education).
Mkandawire, Gumba, Phale, Bande, and Chang’anamuno are new faces drafted into Chakwera’ new Cabinet as Deputies.