President Lazarus Chakwera has appointed a 12-member cabinet, and has promised to fill other cabinet posts “soon”.
In the initial 12-member Cabinet, Chakwera has roped in two new faces, namely Mark Katsonga Phiri, who has been appointed Minister of Trade and Industry and Samuel Kawale, who is now Lands Minister.
Kawale, who is Dowa North East Constituency Member of Parliament, replaces Chitipa East member of Parliament Kezzie Msukwa who the President fired on Tuesday over his alleged connection to an ongoing corruption case.
On one hand, Katsonga Phiri is People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) president, a member of the Tonse Alliance.
Katsonga’s portfolio is an amalgamation of two ministries of Trade and Industry, which were previously held by Sosten Gwengwe and Roy Kachale.
The two are missing on the list of the initial peace-meal cabinet.
Nonetheless, eight ministers have retained their positions in the new cabinet.
These are Patricia Kaliati [Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare], Lobin Lowe [Agriculture], Michael Usi [Tourism, Culture and Wildlife], Agnes NyaLonje [Education], Titus Mvalo [Justice], Khumbize Kandodo [Health], Blessings Chinsinga [Local Government and Rural Development] and Jacob Hara [Transport and Public Works
According to a statement which Secretary to the President and Cabinet ZangaZanga Chikhosi signed yesterday, the President has promoted former Lands deputy minister Abida Mia to Water and Sanitation Minister and Vera Kamtukule, who was Labour deputy minister, to full minister.
Chikhosi indicates in the statement that the President may fill the remaining positions “soon owing to his Excellency’s simultaneous preoccupation with a national emergency”.
On Monday, the President dissolved his 31-member cabinet and promised to reconstitute it within 48 hours.
The president dissolved his cabinet after 17 months since constituting his maiden cabinet.