BLANTYRE: Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika completed naming his 20-member cabinet overnight, bringing in a prominent opposition leader more than a month after chaotic elections that brought him to office.
The completed cabinet includes United Democratic Front presidential candidate Atupele Muluzi, who came in fourth in the disputed May ballot and was named as minister of natural resources, energy and mining. A son of a former president, Muluzi becomes the only opposition lawmaker in Mutharika’s cabinet.The 36-year-old briefly worked as economic planning minister under ex-leader Joyce Banda before he quit to pursue his presidential bid.
Naming his 20-member cabinet in dribs and drabs, Mutharika first appointed the finance minister three weeks ago, then last week released nine names before completing the entire team around midnight. He has tapped former finance minister Goodall Gondwe,78, to resume his position and brought back several other old faces who worked under the administration of his sibling Bingu wa Mutharika, who died in office in 2012.
“The president has lived to his word to have a cabinet of not more than 20 ministers and deputies in order to cut costs,” state house press officer Justice Mponda, told AFP after releasing the new full list.
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