Malawi President Peter Mutharika has challenged cabinet ministers and deputy ministers to protect public resources and foster transparency and accountability.
Mutharika said this on Saturday at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre during swearing-in ceremony of the newly appointed cabinet ministers and their deputies.
“I appeal to you to desist from engaging in corrupt activities. As I have said many times before, corruption is a menace to society and deprives the Government of the limited resources for development.
“The wheels of justice will not spare you where you are found to be in conflict with the law. This is important in order to safeguard Governments integrity and sustain the trust that Malawians have bestowed upon us,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika also expressed optimism that those who have been appointed ministers and deputies for the first time will deliver in their respective portfolios.
“Let me therefore congratulate all the newly appointed Ministers and Deputy Ministers, particularly those who have been appointed for the very first time.
“I am optimistic that you will deliver in the portfolios that I have assigned you. You must all rise to the occasion,” added Mutharika.
The president also said he expects the first timers to bring themselves up to speed with the mandate of their respective Ministries and Departments.
“There are projects that are earmarked for completion this financial year that must be completed. As a Government, we are religiously implementing the promises that we made in the run up to the May 19, 2019 Tripartite Elections.
“The Chief Secretary will circulate to you important reference documents. This includes a Cabinet Handbook. I urge you to read it because it will guide you in your day to day work as a member of the Cabinet,” he said.
Mutharika further urged all the ministers to be united and work together for the betterment of Malawians and the country as a whole.
“Let us be
united and always work as a team. Let us not undermine each other as we
discharge our various mandates. We are all members of one Cabinet,
performing different functions but serving one people.
“Therefore, let’s go and work for the benefit of our people. I am aware that we must continue to construct more roads, school blocks, hospitals and many other basic infrastructures. We need to address challenges that are still dogging our energy sector.
“We must continue improving the lives of all Malawians. I therefore urge you to hit the ground running and serve,” added Mutharika.
Speaking after the swearing in, Minister of Lands Housing and Urban Development, Kamlepo Kalua said indeed there is need to curb the spirit of corruption in the country as it retards development of the country.
“The spirit of corruption has dragged the country’s development. Our neighbouring countries are developing.
“The corrupt practices put the presidency in the limelight as the one orchestrating them as people do not see that it is us engaged in the act,” said Kaluwa.
He then appealed to fellow ministers to be of service to Malawians as well as adhere to what the president has appealed to them to resist corruption.
“The president should fire any cabinet minister indulging in corruption. Malawians expect us to deliver,” he said.
During the ceremony, the ministers and their deputies took an oath of office as ministers and deputies as well as an oath of allegiance.-(By Yamikani Yapuwa)