Malawi President Banda Announces New Cabinet, Corruption Fighting Roles

Malawi President Banda Announces New Cabinet, Corruption Fighting Roles

In the face of corruption and financial scandal accusations, Malawi president Joyce Banda dissolved her cabinet last week, announcing new members Tuesday.

According to Standard Digital, Maxwell Mkwezalamba will replace former Finance Minister Ken Lipenga, while former state attorney Fahad Assan will replace Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Ralph Kasambara.

President Banda was reported that have been under pressure to fire Lipenga as government investigations prior to the cabinet being dissolved were set to begin. In mid September, after then Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo was shot, three suspects were arrested. Mphwiyo was targeted in relation to the basis of plans to expose and put a stop to political corruption in Malawi.

Still, after the incident, President Banda is pushing new cabinet members to continue on the path that Mphwiyo set out to follow.

“I would like to direct the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to look at new strategies of fighting corruption. Take a look at our laws on corruption and see whether there is need to review some: we can always take them back to parliament,” Banda said in a MANA report.

To the newly appointed ministers, Banda advised putting the country’s welfare first as previous cabinet members scuffed Malawi’s economic transparency image.

“I would want to see each of you putting Malawi first in discharging your duties, because in this job you serve the country and the people,” Banada added. “My government is seriously focusing on healing the nation and laying foundation of economic growth. To do this, there is an urgent need to strengthen financial management.”

The Malawi Voice reported that the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) — a payment source used to allocate ministry funds — was suspended soon after Banda dissolved the previous cabinet as loopholes allowed ministers to launder money.