LILONGWE – Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera on Wednesday reappointed most of the ministers he sacked to a new cabinet, just days after taking a drastic approach.
Chakwera on Monday sacked his entire 33-member cabinet over corruption allegations and pledged to “address all forms of lawless conduct by public officials”.
However, a list of 12 ministerial appointments released by his office just after midnight Wednesday includes only two new faces.
Prominent businessman and politician Mark Katsonga Phiri will become trade minister, while Sam Kawale, a ruling party loyalist, will become lands minister.
Kawale replaces Kezzie Msukwa, who was arrested for corruption last month.
Key portfolios such as finance, defense and foreign affairs have yet to be announced.
Nearly two years after taking office, Chakwera has come under pressure from civil society and religious groups to rein in his cabinet after several of his ministers were embroiled in corruption scandals.
His decision to sack the entire government follows meetings last week with Malawi’s influential bishops’ conference and public affairs committee, which includes religious groups that serve as the government’s watchdog.
The organizations have expressed concern about the president’s indecisiveness in the fight against corruption.
Chakwera won the 2020 presidential election with an anti-corruption campaign in his impoverished country of South Africa.
In December 2021, Malawi’s former finance minister and a former central bank governor were arrested in a corruption probe for allegedly manipulating accounts to obtain loans from the International Monetary Fund.