New Cabinet Ministers Sworn in- Chakwera talks tough on corruption and vows not to shield anyone

By Josephine Chikalasa

The newly elected members of Cabinet have been sworn in today at a ceremony that took place  in Lilongwe. President Chakwera did not mince words but to warn the new ministers that they  must resist from corruption at every turn, because if they do not follow the law, the law will follow you.The President warned that anyone thinking he will use my office to save him or her from facing a law they have broken are gravely mistaken.

In his speech , The president  started by saying he expect the  Cabinet members to work hard as there is more work to do than there are hands to do it. “There is thereforee absolutely no excuse for sloth, laziness, and procrastination. You must attend to your duties. You must fulfil your responsibilities. You must do your job. And when I issue a directive for your ministry to carry out, you must engage an extra gear to 3 see that it is carried out with speed and without excuses above and beyond your regular duties”.

Chakwera also spoke of Unity and the need to work together. “Many of Malawi’s problems are multi-sectoral and require inter-ministerial collaboration. Whether it is the unprecedented devastation caused by a cyclone in the deep south of the country; or the devastation caused by Covid-19 pandemic in disrupting the lives and livelihoods of millions; or the devastation caused by unemployment and loss of income-generating activities across the economy; or the devastation caused to our governance apparatus by decades of corruption in the public service, the solutions have to be multi-sectoral, inter-ministerial, and must be implemented collaboratively. Do not work in silos. Do not work alone”

Chakwera also tackled on the need for humility highlighting that the cabinet ministers are here to serve not to rule or boast.He warned that Occupying high office is not a license to act high and mighty and that Ministers should always remember that the people of Malawi are the bosses, not your subjects. Chakwera reminded the ministers that his government  philosophy of leadership is that of  servant leadership, and servant leaders listen more than they speak, focus more on improving public service delivery than enjoying public service benefits,  remain reachable and accessible to the people they serve.and use power to improve the plight of their people, not to enrich themselves.

President Chakwera also called for the need to be ethical.“Do not accept a gift in exchange for using your office to give someone preferential treatment in the administration of a public service. That is corruption. Do not accept a payment from anyone to whom your Ministry has rendered a public service. That is corruption. Do not invent or fabricate or approve useless ministry activities in order to generate allowances for you and other public servants. That is corruption. Do not bully or push state institutions to pay or award a contractor from whom you stand to benefit and with whom you have business interests or shares. That is corruption. Do not, under any circumstances or for any personal glory, violate the 5 oath of office and related oath of secrecy you have taken, which are required by law and are designed to protect our national interests for the good of Malawi and its people. That too is corruption” said Chakwera

The president finished by telling the new Cabinet Cohort that he expects them  to work accountably.On this one , he urged the cabinet to report to him  as it is him who appointed them. “Whether you belong to Malawi Congress Party, or UTM, or People’s Party, or any of the other parties in the Tonse Alliance, you must remember that it is I who appointed you and it is to me that you report. Do not become presumptuous and imagine that your appointment is attributed to someone else. I expect regular and timely reports to my office of the progress you are making, and I expect those reports to be presented to me directly and for me to be the one that directs you on whether any contents in your reports should be shared with anyone 6 else”

Chakwera also urged the cabinet not to work in silence  but to communicate to Malawians  as the people need to hear  from them .  “If there is a matter of public interest that falls under your domain, it is your responsibility to stand before the Malawian people and explain it. You are not to leave all public engagement to the Minister of Information”.


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