President Bingu wa Mutharika yesterday fired 21 of his former 41 Cabinet Ministers in the largest shake up of Government that has seen Ministries trimmed from 21 to 17.
There are now 17 Ministries after four were left out and the total number of Ministers including the President, First Lady and Vice President is at 32 down from 43, with 12 deputies which is down from 20.
The departure of the 21 however saw lots of surprise return of former DPP strongmen Henry Mussa, Patricia Kaliati and Goodall Gondwe, a former deputy Minister Kingsely Namakhwa and seven new faces gracing the Cabinet for the first time.
The new faces are deputy Ministers Kondwani Nankhumwa (Foreign Affairs) Vera Flamenga Cherewani (Natural Resources) Cornelius Mwalwanda (Finance) Reverend Christopher Ngwira (Lands) Ralph Jooma (Health) and Nasrin Pillane (Gender).
Only Dr. Jean Kalirani is the new face with a full Cabinet portfolio as Minister of Health while Gondwe heads Natural Resources, Kaliati has returned to Information and Henry Mussa goes to Local Government after missing from the list since 2009.
Namakhwa has made a come back as second deputy Minister for Agriculture.
Those sacked completely include Eta Banda and her deputy Steven Kamwendo (Foreign Affairs), Ken Kandodo and his deputy Frazer Nihorya (Finance), Abbie Marambika Shawa (Economic Planning), MacJones Mandala Shaba (Deputy for Transport) and Ritchie Muheya and his deputy Grenenger Msulira Banda who were at Irrigation and Water development.
The chop has not spared Industry and Trade pair Eunice Kazembe and her deputy Shadreck Jonasi, deputy Lands Minister Billy Kaunda, Gender Minister Theresa Mwale, deputy Tourism Minister Augustine Mtendere and deputy Youth Minister Charles Mchacha .
Anna Kachikho and her deputy Francis Kasaila (Local Government) Professor David Mphande and his deputy Felton Mulli, deputy for Internal Affairs Annie Lemani, Trasizio Gowelo deputy for Information and Civil Education and Grain Malunga who headed Natural Resources have not been spared the axe.
DPP preferred successor Professor Peter Mutharika has been moved to Foreign Affairs, while Dr. George Chaponda has returned to Education after a stay at Justice where Ephraim Chiume former deputy at Natural Resources has taken the mantle.
Daniel Liwimbi who was a deputy at Economic Planning has be promoted also to a full Minister of Tourism, while Ken Lipenga who was Tourism Minister has moved to Finance. Dr. Lucious Kanyumba ahs moved from Youth to Labour, where his predecessor Yunus Mussa has taken over the Lands portfolio.
John Bande from Lands he has gone to Trade, while Reen Kachere has been moved to Gender while her deputy at the Ministry of Elderly Chimango Mughogho-Gondwe is now a deputy at Local Government while Catherine Gotani Hara has moved as a deputy at Gender to the Ministry of Transport.
Nicholas Dausi (deputy OPC) Peter Mwanza and his deputy Magret Mauwa (Agriculture), Sidik Mia (Transport) and Aaron Sangala (Home Affairs) are the only Ministers who have retained their previous portifolios while the Ministries of Defence, Economic Planning and Development Cooperation, Irrigation and Water Development and Elderly and Persons with disabilities have been dissolved.
A statement from the Office of the President and Cabinet said the reduction is in line with the prevailing Government policy of cost saving measures and also in line with the 2009 General Elections Manifesto article 29 where it pledged a lean Cabinet.