MALAWI’S new president Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has spent his first days as the head of state on two important parallel processes – receiving reports from various state departments and beginning the process to form a cabinet.
Chakwera, who became president after unseating former leader Peter Mutharika in a re-run election, also had a transition budget approved, by Parliament, to allow the government to spend money on key projects in the next four months.
“I am happy to report that Dr. Saulos Chilima and I have made great progress in the formulation of Cabinet. As per procedure, nominees for cabinet will be consulted before the appointment, following which they will still be at liberty to reconsider accepting the extent or form of their involvement in the event that certain exigencies of public office demand a change thereof, with the assurance of no remonstration or recrimination on my part. I will be announcing the rest of the Cabinet members very soon.
“Additionally, on this second day, my administration presented a budget to The People, whose representatives have duly passed it. This budget covers the necessary functions of government for the next four months, during which time we will work on a full budget. I have spent the day receiving reports from various state institutions regarding the status of their operations, which will inform the steps I will soon be taking to ensure that all institutions have the wherewithal to address the anomalies and malpractices within them,” Chakwera said.
He said he was working in partnership with the intergovernmental inauguration committee to make sure the ceremony to install him conveys the sense that a new dawn has risen on Malawi. “This is all on top of hosting several dignitaries who have called on me to express their solidarity with our cause to free Malawians from poverty,” he added.
Chakwera, 65, won 58.57% of the vote in last week’s poll, a dramatic reversal of the result of the original election in May 2019, which was later overturned by the courts.