President Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika has called upon members of his Cabinet to subscribe to the policies of the ruling government and be part of its policy agenda or face the chop.
Mutharika gave the warning at Kamuzu palace in Lilongwe on Friday during the swearing in of new members of the Cabinet.
Everton Chimulirenji and three deputy ministers Charles Mchacha, Amos Mailosi and Welani Chirenga were sworn in as minister and deputy ministers respectively.
The president said there is nothing like sitting a Cabinet as an honorary position or as a matter of constitutional status but subscribing to the policies and agenda of the government of the day.
He said working in cabinet demands discipline and collective responsibility which he said must be shown and adhered to by all Cabinet members.
“Because we work on the principle of collective responsibility, you cannot sit on Cabinet if you are not part of its agenda. Every Cabinet has a policy agenda,” he said.
On that note the president urged the sworn in Cabinet members to work towards that agenda and drive policies that should make a difference in the lives of Malawians.
In accordance with the law, on Wednesday Mutharika made changes to the cabinet reassigning some ministers to new portfolios.
The changes saw some new faces roped into cabinet.
The president said he has trust in everyone he has appointed and expects them to live up to the expectation of the people and serve Malawians with a patriotic spirit, integrity and hardwork.
“In particular I would like to urge you to protect public resources and foster transparency and accountability. I appeal to you to desist from engaging in corrupt activities,” said Mutharika.
He said corruption is evil and must be fought out of the society through collective responsibility.
According to the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) report released this week, Malawi’s rate of corruption control is at 65 percent.
Commenting on the changes he made in his Cabinet, Mutharika said such changes are normal as ministers and deputy ministers are occasionally rotated to expose them to other domains of government and sometimes to reinvigorate or reenergize government machinery.
“In other instances ministers and deputy ministers also need a fresh challenge in their work. The ultimate aim is to ensure that government serves the country better,” he said.
One of the sworn in deputy minister Charles Mchacha who is Deputy Minister of Homeland Security told the press in an interview after the swearing in ceremony that he will discharge the duties to the best of his capabilities.
Mchacha who is also Democratic Progressive Party regional governor for the South said he will work to differentiate his duties as a regional governor and as a cabinet member.
“You have to know that now I have two offices. When I stand as deputy minister I’m supposed to speak on behalf of government, for the general public but when I stand on the podium as regional governor I stand for my party and I’m supposed to defend my party and that’s what I will exactly be doing,” said Mchacha.