Malawi’s new president Lazarus Chakwera names a party cabinet

Malawi’s recently sworn-in president Lazarus Chakwera has begun naming his cabinet and honoring some figures that helped him win a crucial re-election.

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Saulos Chilima, in attendance alongside Chakwera on Sunday, was named Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reform.

Chilima played an important role in reversing the controversial “Tippex election”, and joined Chakwera to form the opposition Tonse Alliance, which ultimately defeated ex-president Peter Mutharika.

Felix Mlusu was named Malawi’s Finance Minister. He was previously Managing Director of Nico Holdings Plc, a financial company with interests in Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Mozambique.

The new president elected his chief advocate in the suffrage case, Modecai Msiska, as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. Msiska serves as a non-executive director of Malawi’s First Capital Bank.

Chikosa Silungwe, another lawyer who was involved in the court case that forced the election again, was named Malawi’s prosecutor. Silungwe previously worked at the Malawi Law Commission and holds a doctorate in law from the University of Warwick, UK.

Richard Banda was appointed Minister of Homeland Security.

Chakwera won the election again with almost 59 percent of the vote. The country’s constitutional court had ordered a return of “widespread irregularities”, including the use of corrective fluid to manipulate tally sheets.

Malawi became only the second country in sub-Saharan Africa to have the result of the presidential election reversed in the courts, as Kenya did in 2017.

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