Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera has warned members of his cabinet against corruption by taking their roles seriously or else the appointees would find themselves jobless sooner than later.Speaking at the cabinet’s swearing-in ceremony in the capital of Lilongwe on Friday, the newly elected president told the ministers and deputy ministers that this was “a transitional cabinet”, and that their performances would be reviewed after five months to assess their standings.
“You should work hard and prove your doubters wrong, failing which you will be replaced,” Chakwera said.
He said he agreed with critics who pointed out that the newly-appointed ministers and their deputies had “conflicts of interest.”
“I would like to assure you all that I am fully aware of these conflicts of interest, for I did a thorough background check on each candidate.
“Since my cabinet appointees are accomplished individuals in their own right, it was inevitable that they would have conflicts of interest by virtue of those accomplishments – accomplishments which also form part of their qualifications,” he said.
The president said the ministers would sign “a code of conduct,” and urged them “to protect public resources and foster transparency and accountability.”
He said he wanted a corrupt-free Malawi, where public resources were used for the public good.
“You each have five months to produce results that will give Malawians confidence that change has come,” he said, noting that many Malawians were unconvinced the new Cabinet had the skills needed to turn round the economy.
“The onus is on you to prove them wrong,” the president challenged the 31-member Cabinet which has 20 men and 11 women.