Malawi’s new President Lazarus Chakwera (pictured above) has responded to criticisms of nepotism by saying that he had good reasons to select the cabinet that he did.
He has included a husband and wife duo as well as people who are related to each other. There are also cabinet posts for some prominent business people which has raised questions of conflicts of interest.
The president’s former running mate in the 2019 elections, Sidik Mia, has been appointed minister for transport and his wife Abida Mia is the deputy minister for lands.
Critics “may have a point [but]… both of them are accomplished politicians” in their own right, Mr Chakwera told BBC Focus on Africa radio.
Kenny Kandodo is the new labour minister and his sister Khumbize Kandodo is the health minister.
The president has also appointed the son of one his allies and predecessors, Joyce Banda.
But Mr Chakwera said the test will not be who the ministers are but whether they are delivering.
“ This is going to be reviewed, because you have to deliver, you have to work so that you are contributing this process of rebuilding and if you don’t you are out.”
And as to the question of whether it’s appropriate to have a media owner as information minister, as well as other business people in key posts he said: “If there is any inappropriate action… Then they are gone… We will be on top of such and everything has to be declared right from the start.”