Malawi President Joyce Banda has appointed board members for 17 parastatals, a move that has drawn a mixture of professionals, the clergy and ruling Peopleâ€™s Party (PP) politicians.
In all, excluding ex-officio members, there are 122 appointees, according to a list from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) released on Tuesday. There are also some traditional leaders on the list.
According to OPC, the appointments are effective September 10, 2012.
The board for the struggling national flag carrier, Air Malawi, comprises professionals headed by economist Max Honde. Its members include Nico Holdings Limited deputy managing director Vizenge Kumwenda, Press Trust executive secretary Clement Chilingulo, former Air Malawi chief executive officer (CEO) Esther Chioko, Toyota Malawi CEO Rosemary Mkandawire and Airtel Malawi managing director Saulos Chilima.
PP treasurer general Harry Mkandawire chairs the board of Lilongwe Water Board and its membership includes lawyer Alan Chinula, John Wiseman Chiromo, engineer Daud Kara, Traditional Authority Dzoole, Deliwe Ngâ€™oma and Edith Mtunga.
Another board comprising professionals, perhaps due to its nature and scope of work, is the Medical Council of Malawi, which is chaired by Dr. Grace Malenga, with Dr. Joyce Munthali, Dr. Edgar Kuchingale, Dr. W. Mulwafu, Dr. J Chivundira, Dr. M Chirambe and Professor Nyengo Mkandawire as members.
Former Television Malawi director general Rodrick Mulonya chairs the Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) where a PP politician Boniface Kadzamira is among the members. On the other hand, one-time vocal gender activist-turned-PP politician Faustace Chirwa is chairing the Malawi Council for the Handicapped (Macoha) board where Father Francis Tambala is among the members.
Outspoken CCAP Livingstonia Synod general secretary the Reverend Levi Nyondo, a fierce critic of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika, chairs the board of the Northern Region Water Board which has two PP politicians in Salim Bagus, the partyâ€™s national organising secretary, and Ephraim Chivunde.
Former Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) head of human resources and administration Martin Jawadu goes to chair the board of the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) and members include PPâ€™s Queen Gondwe, Hendrina Giva, William Matambo and Traditional Authority Chowe.
The National Commission of Science and Technology board is chaired by Professor Sosten Chiotha and members are Professor Kanyama Phiri, Dr. Daniel Jamu, Dr. Meria Nowa Phiri and Dr. Chrissie Muyeriwa, among others.
The President has also appointed engineer D. Mzandu to chair the Central Region Water Board and members include lawyer Wapona Kita and Traditional Authority Kachindamoto.
Human rights activist Mussa Chiwaula chairs the Malawi Bureau of Standards while founding Anti-Corruption Bureau director Gilton Chiwaula heads the Malawi Institute of Management (MIM) board. Dr. Rex Harawa chairs the Malawi Accountants Board and Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has been retained at Malawi National Council of Sports chair.
Worth noting is that the boards are a mixture of new faces and old timers.
Conspicuously missing on the list are boards for the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), the Southern Region Water Board and the yet-to-be-established Eastern Region Water Board which previously had a board without an institution to steer.
The Malawi Communications Regulatory Board (Macra) was appointed earlier in the year.