February 01, 2023

Malawi: President Trims Fat in Cabinet Reshuffle

Malawi president Lazarus Chakwera has dismissed and appointed several new faces in his first cabinet reshuffle of the year.

The 67-year-old politician had promised a smaller team of lawmakers as part of his New Year message to improve service delivery. Many expected a reshuffle following reports from the country’s Anti-Corruption Bureau and the UK’s National Crimes Agency that a handful of ministers had been named in an ongoing investigation into corruption.

On Tuesday, 31 January, a released list showed that the number of ministers and deputy ministers had been reduced from 33 to 27; in a surprise move, Chakwera included a member of the official opposition from the Democratic Progressive Party and former head of state, Peter Mutharika.

The new cabinet progressively features 40% women. However, despite the best intentions, critics still claim that the number of legislators is too many, with some members linked to corruption.

Vice President Saulos Chilima himself is facing corruption charges, but under Malawian law, he cannot be fired while he is in office.