Malawian President Peter Mutharika on Thursday stunned thousands of people at Bolero in Rumphi when he gave out statistics which contrary to civil society organisations (CSOs) assertions, proves that regardless of having bigger populations the Central region and the Southern region are in some cases the least represented in terms of senior government positions.
President Mutharika with Minister of Transport Jappie Mhango at Bolero: Dismisses nepotism charges
Mutharika made the comment after Minister of Transport Jappie Mhango raised the issue at a rally in Rumphi.
Mhango said that as a person from the northern region in Malawi he was concerned that some activist and critics accuse President Mutharika of nepotism when his appointments pattern and the situation on the ground in the civil society proves otherwise.
The Minister said it was sad that while President Mutharika has appointed four senior Cabinet Ministers from the northern region in his lean Cabinet of 20 out of four regions and distributes public appointments fairly ,some organisation’s like to paint a different picture all together.
Taking his turn, President Mutharika said he has always avoided to comment on the issue of nepotism hoping that objective Malawians will see that the accusations have no merit.
President Mutharika said the issue is “divisive”.
It was at this point that Mutharika gave statistics about senior government positions in relation to the region the holders come from.
According to the statistics on the ground show that positions in government are fairly distributed. For instance, in the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal and High Court of Malawi, he said the Northern Region has 13 judges, the South has 10, Central Region has four and Eastern Region has nine.
He specifically said Supreme Court of Appeal has nine judges with eight from the North, one from Centre while Southern Region has none on the bench.
In terms of senior servants, he said the Central Region has the most officers occupying grades A to E at 179 followed by the Southern Region with 158, Eastern Region—including Ntcheu District which in terms of administration is regarded as in the Central Region—has 144 and the North has 116.
The statistics provided by President Mutharika are in agreement to the ones given by the Chief Secretary to the government Lloyd Muhara a week ago in response to a petition delivered to government in April 2018 by CSOs .
The issue of nepotism was one of the issues raised in the petition.
The two civil society organisation’s Centre for Human Rights &, Rehabilitation CHRR and the Centre for Development of a People CEDEP that raised the issue are yet to challenge the statictics provided by the Government and now echoed by President Mutharika.
In response to the challenge presented by the statictics against the nepotism assertions, Human Rights Defenders (HRD) chairperson Timothy Mtambo described the response as an insult to Malawians. (By Nyasa Times)