Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader John Tembo and four other senior members of the opposition party turned down the offer by President Joyce Banda to be included in the recent re-organised cabinet, Nyasa Times understands. See story here
Government insiders and MCP sources have collaborated that President Banda approached the opposition leadership to offer some of their members to join a new cabinet but they rejected.
According to sources, Tembo – Malawi’s longest serving legislator- was offered the vacant position of Second-Vice President.
The offer of cabinet positions was also extended to MCP’s front-line troops who include lawmakers Joseph Njobvuyalema, Lingston Belekanyama, Jean Sendeza and Makala Ngozo.
MCP lawmakers declined to comment when asked about the issue, saying they were not mandated to speak to the media.
“It is however true that we turned down the cabinet posts because MCP and PP (ruling People’s Party) we differ in our ideologies,” said an MCP official.
The MCP official said “it is better for us to assist government in other foras and not in cabinet when we have different policies.”
A government source told Nyasa Times that President Banda offered MCP five cabinet posts but the party leadership flatly turned it down.
But official spokespersons of government could not formally confirm the issue, saying the cabinet appointments are a prerogative of the President.
Tembo has had a soft spot of the Banda government and is on record asking Malawians to give the President “time to correct the mess” left by the DPP regime led by late president Bingu wa Mutharika.
He is however on record describing the PP government like a Kraal housing mixed species of very different animals.
Tembo said PP is like a “kraal housing lions, goats, ducks, cattle, and pigs all in the same place” in apparent reference to recycled politicians who defected from other parties to joing it when Banda formed government.
President Banda took office in April following the sudden death of President Mutharika.