Backlash sparks over Chakwera’s family and rewards cabinet appointees

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President Lazarus Chakwera has been heavily criticised for including a husband and wife duo and siblings in his first cabinet.

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.

Ken Kandodo Banda is the new labour minister and his sister Khumbize Kandodo is the health minister.

Businessman Gospel Kazako has been appointed information minister and his sister-in-law Agnes Nkusa Nkhoma is the deputy agriculture minister.

Earlier, President Chakwera’s first appointee to the justice ministry, lawyer Modercai Msiska, refused to take up the position saying it would look like a reward for representing him in court during the case that nullified ex-President Peter Mutharika’s election win.

Some have also pointed out that Mr Chakwera had attacked Mr Mutharika about nepotism in the past and for filling his cabinet with people from his region.

They add that more than 70% of President Chakwera’s new line-up is from the central region, his political stronghold.