Tuesday, August 10, 2010

(NYASATIMES) Mutharika taking Malawians for granted–commentators

Mutharika taking Malawians for granted–commentators
By Nyasa Times
Published: August 10, 2010

Commentators have described the appointment of Malawi’s First Lady into the cabinet as unfortunate saying President Bingu wa Mutharika must not take government as a family business.

Human rights activist Reverend Macdonald Sembereka said the president is taking Malawians for granted saying the president cannot have a brother and a wife in the same cabinet.

“What is this cabinet all about …… is it a family cabinet or one to serve Malawians?” wondered Rev Sembereka.

He said as a country Malawians should be worried with the direction the president is taking.

Rev Sembereka said it is strange and that it is possible that it is only in Malawi where there is a cabinet with a wife and a brother to the president.

“All I can say is that this a way of milking Malawians as Callista will also be receiving salaries and everything that goes with a cabinet post,” said Rev Sembereka.

Rev Sembereka said the appointment will put pressure on her saying she already has too much on her plate.

He said the First Lady’s inclusion in the cabinet means that now she is a fully fledged politician which traditionally is not supposed to be the case.

Rev Sembereka therefore wondered how the first lady will handle herself as the patron of her foundation as well as a cabinet member.

Mzuzu based political analyst Noel Mbowela said the appointment of Madam Mutharika is weighing heavily on the negative side than on the positives.

He said as a patron of a foundation she has much on her plate already and that it can be regarded as “gluttonous” on the part of the Mutharika family.

“Madam Mutharika is an ambassador for safe motherhood already and that appointing her into cabinet does not make sense,” Mbowela said.

He said the foundation alone and the ambassadorship are already enough for the First Lady saying the appointment will be seen just as a way of burdening Malawians.

Mbowela said the responsibility might compromise the legacy of the First Lady’s office which is expected to be non partisan and serve everybody without looking at political affiliations.

Madame Mutharika has been given the portfolio of safe motherhood ambassador in the cabinet and ranked second from the president.

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