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Malawi president under fire for family appointments to cabinet

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New 31-member cabinet includes six figures who are related to each other, although not to the president.

Lazarus Chakwera
Chakwera, 65, comfortably beat Peter Mutharika with 58.5 percent of the vote in last month’s election [Gianluigi Guercia/AFP]

Malawians have voiced anger after newly appointed President Lazarus Chakwera unveiled a cabinet that they said was tainted by family ties.

Chakwera, 65, comfortably beat Peter Mutharika with 58.5 percent of the vote in last month’s election, marking the first time in African history that an election rerun led to the defeat of an incumbent.

On Wednesday night, the new president announced a 31-member cabinet that included six figures who are related to each other, although not to the president.

The new labour and health ministers are brother and sister, while the incoming information minister is the sister-in-law of the new deputy agriculture minister.

Chakwera’s former running mate in the 2019 elections, Sidik Mia, will serve as the transport minister while his wife will be the deputy minister for lands

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