KAWELO Lawyers, the legal practitioners appointed by the Forum for National Development [FND], have written a letter to President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera demanding for the appointment and release of a new Cabinet and release of the Cabinet assessment report to the public within the next seven days.
The Lawyers say President Dr. Chakwera’s continued postponement and delay to assess the performance of the current Cabinet Ministers and reconstitute a new Cabinet is worrisome as Malawians have lost trust with the President on the new Cabinet.
The Forum for National Development [FND] says the current Cabinet was appointed on 8th July 2020 and when Malawians raised concerns with its composition, President Dr. Chakwera indicated that he carry out an assessment of the performance of the Ministers in the next 5 months, by the end of December 2020.
In a letter addressed to President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera with a copy to the Vice President of the Republic, Right Hon. Dr. Saulosi Klaus Chilima on behalf of the FND, KAWELO Lawyers claim that when the country was approaching the end of December 2020, President Dr. Chakwera postponed the assessment to the end of the first quarter of 2021.
KAWELO Lawyers says during the weekly State House briefing conducted on 29th March 2021 the Presidential Spokesperson, Brian Banda, confirmed with certainty that a new Cabinet was going to be appointed by the 31st March 2021 saying this promise was also not honoured and as of today, Malawians do not know when the President shall appoint a new Cabinet.
The letter mentions that their client understand that the power to appoint Cabinet Ministers is vested only in President Dr. Chakwera under the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi, saying his exercise for such powers is conditional upon the sustained trust of the people of Malawi and that trust can only be maintained through open, accountable and transparent Government and informed democratic choices as per Section 12[b] and [c] of the Constitution.
…”Your continued postponement of the assessment the current cabinet Ministers’ performance and appointment of a new Cabinet, has caused loss of trust by the people of Malawi in President Dr. Chakwera…,’’ reads the letter in part.
KAWELO Lawyers says in the spirit of transparency, accountability, informed democratic choice, they have also been instructed by the FND to demand the release of the Cabinet assessment Report to the public saying the Report was submitted to President Dr. Chakwera by the Vice President of the Republic, Right Hon. Dr. Saulosi Klaus Chilima.
By Vincent Gunde