I don’t have a feeble mind — Peter Mutharika
President Peter Mutharika Friday slammed critics of his new cabinet, saying he is capable of thinking for himself and knew well the appointments he had to make into the cabinet.
Mutharika said this when he addressed a rally at Nchalo in Chikwawa.
On Thursday, Mutharika tweaked his 20-member cabinet with Allan Chiyembekeza being the biggest and only casualty.
Chiyembekeza was dropped from the cabinet where he was Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development.
Mutharika’s new cabinet has attracted criticism from some commentators who argue that there is nothing new it can deliver as he has stuck to the same old faces.
But Mutharika hit back yesterday arguing that he could not have given a ministerial post to people who had not been with the DPP when the party was in the wilderness – an apparent reference to the time the party was unceremoniously relegated to the opposition ranks following the sudden death of its founder and then state president, Bingu wa Mutharika.
He said there are some people that have been approaching him asking to be given a ministerial position.
“You were not with us when we were in the wilderness. I am not saying that I will give people a cabinet post just because they were with us even when they do not have merit.
“Some have even claimed that I am being misled on the cabinet. How can that be? You should know that I don’t have a feeble mind. I can think for myself and I think for myself,” he said.
He therefore asked for support for the cabinet to deliver on the nation’s development agenda.
At the rally, Mutharika announced that his administration places the Ministry of Agriculture, now headed by George Chaponda, at the heart of the country’s development drive.
He said through the ministry, government would be turning the Lower Shire into the biggest irrigation sites in Southern Africa.
He also said he was aware that the hunger situation Malawi has been experiencing since last year will worsen in 2016 following the bad weather the country has experienced.
Mutharika therefore announced government has already started preparing against food shortages in the year as Admarc has been mandated to purchase 100,000 metric tonnes of maize for the reserves.
He therefore urged farmers who may realise surplus harvest this year to sell their maize to the parastatal grain marketer so that they can access it during lean times.
“Do not sell to vendors. Those who have maize should sell it to Admarc not to vendors. But make sure you have enough for your household first before you start considering selling,” he urged.
At the rally, Mutharika also condemned continued attacks and killings of people with albinism, mob justice and security breaches.
He said that the practice was bringing shame on the country’s international profile.
He warned government would take tough measures against those perpetrating crime in the country.
“Traditional doctors are telling you to kill an albino so that you can get rich yet that doctor cannot even afford a proper pair of shorts. If he is failing to get rich himself, how should you?
“This practice must stop. If we catch you, we will give you severe punishment. We will make sure that you rot in jail. I ask every Malawian to support security agencies in cracking down on crime,” he warned.
Among those that attended the rally were former politician Gwanda Chakuamba and independent Member of Parliament in Chikwawa, Harry Thomson.
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