KASUNGU—Soon after the new cabinet was announced, we went to find out what people made of the Pres Joyce Banda’s first attempt at putting together a cabinet.
"We expected changes and this has happened,” said Stanley Phiri whose views could be said to be representative of most people we talked to. “There are some old faces that have been retained."
It’s the old faces that are unsettling to some people. Many ministers under the Bingu regime seemed happy to just collect their cheque and go home. When the government was busy enacting laws that could be used to deny people their rights, they kept their mouths shut and some of them went as far as defending the government.
Can such individuals be trusted?
Residents – they are however happy one of their own has made it back into cabinet, Ken Kandodo - hope the new people that have been brought into cabinet will work for the interests of all Malawians.
The cabinet reshuffle announced Friday isn’t the only change the Banda administration has made. There’ve been changes at the central bank; the treasury and diplomatic missions overseas.
The chief of police was the first casualty after Joyce Banda was sworn in as president, two days after the sudden death of Pres Bingu wa Mutharika.
Mutharika, who died from a heart attack on April 5, had started on a good note in 2009 after winning re-election but his style of leadership changed soon afterwards. People resisted to go in the direction he was leading the country and countrywide demonstrations were held against his regime last year which left 19 people dead after police opened fire.
Peter Mutharika, the late president’s brother, said at his burial ceremony on Monday that his senior brother made mistakes and wasn’t “evil” at all.
©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment