Malawi President Reverend Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has defended the appointment of family members and close friends into his full cabinet saying the appointments were based on merit.
In his 31 member team cabinet announced on Wednesday, Chakwera appointed Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Deputy President Sidik Mia and his wife as Minister of Transport and Deputy Member of lands respectively.
The sixth President of Malawi Chakwera who spoke highly against nepotism during campaign rallies has also appointed two senior members from former president Kamuzu Banda as cabinet ministers.
Speaking in an interview with BBC Focus on Africa on Thursday, Chakwera said issues such as marital status were not regarded when he was making the appointments.
“When I came up with the cabinet, marital status was not even an issue. The issues that people are raising against my cabinet were never considered.
I used merit. MCP is the largest party. However, we have Tonse Alliance that we have gone into agreement with. Trying to balance political as well other issues led to that cabinet,” he said
However, Chakwera who is 8 years into the presidency said will address all the issues raised by Malawians regarding then incestuous.
“I have listened to the concerns that have been raised by the public and several civil society organisations; that with a common understanding we can forge ahead without losing track of that which we intend to do.
“But those calling it an ‘incestuous’ cabinet are not looking at several factors like the youth in it, the women in it and various groups from the North to the South”
Meanwhile, youths under the banner Youth for Change (YFC) have organized massive demonstration against the new cabinet.