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Reshuffle Cabinet-Pac

Lazarus Chakwera given 90 days

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KASUNDA—The meeting was fruitful

Quasi-religious grouping Public Affairs Committee (Pac) Tuesday told President Lazarus Chakwera to reshuffle his Cabinet, appoint another Secretary to the President and Cabinet and make changes to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within three months.

Committee members engaged Chakwera for the second time on issues pertaining to his administration.

Pac Chairperson Monsignor Patrick Thawale said, during the meeting, that the government uses taxpayers’ funds and that, as such, the citizenry had the right to hold the President accountable.

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Reading a prepared speech, he pointed at a number of issues in the current administration.

“Let us call a spade a spade today, Your Excellency. Reshuffle the Cabinet and appoint […] Secretary to the President and Cabinet. Consider [making] changes in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well, for there seem to be reputational challenges. The current Cabinet seems to be a spectator in their leadership style.

“A number of them lack gravitas and influence. For instance, this is the time those occupying rightful roles in the economic arena should have been at the forefront of translating and explaining measures to mitigate economic hardship. Their silence is loud enough.

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“We kindly call upon Your Excellency to consider reshuffling the cabinet within three months. The public patience is running thin,” the speech reads.

In their remarks, Pac further cautioned Chakwera to take heed of their requests saying if action was not taken the committee would hold an All-inclusive Stakeholders Conference.

“Your Excellency, although in the introductory part we appreciated your open-door policy to dialogue with us and others, it should not be interpreted that Pac will continue holding dialogue without seeing actions being taken. We would opt for second-level dialogue in form of [an] All-Inclusive Stakeholder Conference with a developmental agenda should indecisiveness continue,” he read.

Pac further cautioned Chakwera to be swift in making decisions and be honest with Malawians, citing revelations that Chakwera’s daughter assumed duties at the United Kingdom High Commission.

“The trust in Your Excellence has been eroded so fast as a result of your approach to decision making. You made mistakes on day one of appointing your Cabinet, coupled with failure to honour the pledge on reshuffling the Cabinet,” Pac further indicated.

Commenting on the meeting, Presidential Press Secretary Anthony Kasunda said the meeting was fruitful and that the two sides agreed to continue dialoguing on matters of national importance.

“It was a very cordial meeting and Pac commended the President for the things they said are very successful and, of course, they also reminded the President about what they discussed in August [last year]. And he has assured Pac that he had not forgotten what was agreed. The two sides have agreed to be dialoguing for the benefit of Malawians,” he said.

Ahead of the June 23 2020 presidential election, the Tonse Alliance promised a lean Cabinet of 20 people.

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