Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera Dissolves Cabinet Over Corruption Charges
Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera on Monday announced he has dissolved the entire cabinet amid charges of corruption against several ministers, reported CGTN Africa.
In an address to the nation late on Monday, President Chakwera said that he had decided to allow the three ministers and other public officers accused of corruption to face their charges. He said he would look to reinstate a new cabinet in the next 48 hours.
“I have dissolved my entire cabinet effective immediately, and all the functions of cabinet revert to my office until I announce a reconfigured cabinet in two days,” Malawi’s president said.
The three cabinet ministers accused of corruption include Lands Minister Kezzie Msukwa, Labour Minister Ken Kandodo, and Energy Minister Newton Kambala. Msukwa is accused of benefitting from land deals involving a UK-based Malawian businessman, Kandodo is accused of diverting COVID-19 funds and Kambala is accused of meddling in the awarding of fuel import deals.
Chakwera, who is also the head of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), had been facing rebellion from within the coalition with many of its members who have accused his party of corruption, nepotism, and pushing the country to the brink of an economic crisis.
The president’s announcement came after the arrest of three former officials of the former governing party Democratic Progressive Party, which included the former finance minister and central bank governor, touted to be his prime challengers for the election scheduled in 2025.
ECM, an assembly of Malawi’s Catholic bishops, said authorities must ensure that no one is pressurized, intimidated, or influenced in the pursuit of justice. The bishops said that no suspect should be shielded or protected.
One of the world’s poorest countries, Malawi’s three-quarters of the population lives on less than $2 a day. The South African nation has been hit hard by floods, prolonged dry spells, crop-destroying pests, and the coronavirus pandemic, leaving 15 percent of the population in need of food aid.