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Lazarus Chakwera appoints partial Cabinet

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Mark Katsonga Phiri

President Lazarus Chakwera Wednesday appointed the first set of Cabinet ministers, promising to fill other Cabinet posts “soon”.

In the initial 12-member Cabinet, Chakwera has appointed two new faces, namely Mark Katsonga Phiri, who has been appointed Trade and Industry Minister, and Samuel Kawale, who is Lands Minister.

Katsonga Phiri is People’s Progressive Movement president, which is a member of the Tonse Alliance, while Kawale is Dowa North East Constituency Member of Parliament.

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According to a statement which Secretary to the President and Cabinet ZangaZanga Chikhosi signed Wednesday, 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.

Eight ministers have retained their positions. 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].

Chikhosi indicates that the President may fill the remaining positions “soon owing to his Excellency’s simultaneous preoccupation with a national emergency”.

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On Monday, the President dissolved his Cabinet and promised to reconstitute it within 48 hours.

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