Despite his Excellency the State President Professor Peter Mutharika walking the talk on a lean cabinet of 20, analysts have had various reactions as to its composition.
Chancellor College’s political analyst Ernest Thindwa says that the president should have considered regional representatives so that his Democratic progressive party (DPP) should be seen as a nationwide party.
He further said that if taken close examine of the cabinet, you find that perhaps not less than 40percent would be people from the party’s stronghold which is not a good way to deal with the party’s image.
An associate Professor of political Science at the College Blessings Chisinga has differed with Thindwa as saying that’s the nature of politics.
“If you look at where the party is getting its support you’ll find that the party’s substantial support came from Chiradzulu, Thyolo, Mulanje and Phalombe”, he said.
He further explained that alone should not be the basis for making appointments but that the issue is to look for capable individuals who can contribute to the noble cause of national development.
The two differed again on the appointment of United Democratic Front president Atupele Muluzi.
Chisinga said: ” it’s not a bad idea to take Muluzi on board because any government would be trying to come up with an inclusive formation in order to begin tackling some of the problems that the country is currently facing.
“But again looking at how the elections shaped up, its quiet imperative that the party in government should make coalitions with opposition parties in order to govern the country meaningfully. So am not really surprised “,he said.
Thindwa however said the inclusion of Muluzi is perhaps sending a statement that UDF is realizing that it is no longer a major party and is scaling down its ambition.
“Hon Muluzi has scaled his ambition and the ambition of the party because by accepting the appointment in the DPP led government it means that UDF cannot speak as an independent party, UDF will speak as part of DPP and now that will make UDF to speak under the shadow of DPP,”said Thindwa.
before declaring that: “I don’t see them really making a significant impact in the oncoming 2019 electoral competition should Hon. Muluzi who is leader of UDF remain in government.”
On the part gender, Activists have expressed their shock over Mutharika’s decision to only appoint three women in his 20-member cabinet.
Non-governmental Organisation Network Executive Director Emma Kaliya faulted the president for diverting from the democratic progressive party (DPP) manifesto which has a section which emphasizes on women empowerment.
“We are really disappointed. Looking at the DPP manifesto which talks highly on the need for gender equality, we had hoped the president would appoint a lot of women into the cabinet. “If we are talking of women in terms of education and expertise, they are there in DPP. He would have gone outside the party structure and get quality women around,” Kaliya said.
While pledging to continue on lobbying for gender equality, kaliya said gender equality bodies in the country are hopeful that the president will consider women when appointing leadership for government departments. Another activist Emmie Chanika described the situation as a reflection of the country’s lack of willingness to embrace women empowerment agenda.
“Malawi as a country has a negative attitude towards women. In almost all sectors women are side lined. People including some women talk ill of women which gives men a chance. Our priority should be, how much we are doing to heal the community and Malawian women on the grassroots?” Chanika said.