By Morton Sibale
Malawi President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has assured the nation that his full cabinet will have no less than 40 percent of women to ensure that they are adequately represented in his administration.
The new Malawi leader made the announcement Monday afternoon at his private residence in Area 6 in Lilongwe during the swearing in ceremony of the new appointees to Cabinet and other senior government positions.
Chakwera also said his full cabinet, which will be released before his inauguration on Independence Day will have no more than 30 members.
“I have made these appointments in consultation with the Vice President because these positions are critical in the smooth transition from the old administration to this new one. A full cabinet, which will have no more than 30 members, will be released before our inauguration on 6 July.
“To ensure that there is enough representation of women in our administration, not less than 40 percent of the Cabinet will be composed of women,” Chakwera said.
The Head of State then called upon the new appointees to ensure that they are prioritizing serving the nation over everything else.
“Your performance will be judged on how happy the Malawi people are. That is your service. All of us are servants to Malawians and ensure that when discharging your functions,” Chakwera advised.
Commenting on the development, NGO Gender Coordination Network Chairperson, Barbara Banda said while the announcement is commendable, demonstration of the administration’s commitment to gender equality should have started with first few appointments.
“We receive the news with some reservations because the first appointments are only men and that’s patriarchal. The impression is that these are the big boys crucial to the administration and women will only be considered in the next appointments.
“It suggests that these are the people who are taking lead in the administration. We would have loved to have this gender consideration right from the off, and not just done as an appeasement,” Banda said.
Chakwera was sworn in Sunday morning as Malawi’s 6th President following his victory in Tuesday’s fresh presidential election when he defeated former President, Arthur Peter Mutharika.-MANA