President Peter Mutharika last evening named a new bloated 32-member Cabinet, up from 24 following the inclusion of ministers from his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s alliance partners, United Democratic Front (UDF).
Mutharika has dropped from the Cabinet Bintony Kuntsaira who was Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, replacing him with UDF leader Atupele Muluzi whereas one of the party’s top officials Lilian Patel has replaced Martha Mhone as Labour, Skills and Innovation Minister.
Another UDF member Clement Chiwaya is now Persons with Disability and the Elderly Minister in the Cabinet whose other newcomers are Kamlepo Kalua (Lands, Housing and Urban Development), Werani Chilenga (Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Mining), a post Mungasulwa Mwambande, who has not been retained, had occupied.
Kalua is heading the ministry whose previous occupant was Symon Vuwa Kaunda now in charge of Environment, Tourism and Wildlife whereas Henry Chimunthu Banda is back in Cabinet to head the Natural Resources and Mining Ministry.
In other changes, Kondwani Nankhumwa has moved from Agriculture and Food Security to Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, swapping with Francis Kasaila whereas Charles Mchacha is now Irrigation and Water Development Minister, a promotion from his previous position as Transport and Public Works Deputy Minister.
DPP General Secretary, Grezelder Jeffrey is now in Cabinet as deputy to Local Government and Rural Development Minister Ben Phiri with another newcomer Kenneth Ndovi deputising Industry, Trade and Tourism Minister Salim Bagus.
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