President Peter Mutharika yesterday appointed new board of directors for 18 statutory corporations following the expiry of terms of office for previous holders in October last year.
The new appointments come barely a month and a half after Mutharika filled the existing vacancies of directors for the troubled Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) and University of Malawi (Unima) Council.
According to a statement released last evening by Chief Secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) Lloyd Muhara, the appointments have been made following expiry of mandates for previous directors or dissolution of their boards.
The appointments, which are with immediate effect, have included individuals of diverse backgrounds such as members of legal fraternity, academia, business, civil society, politicians, clergy and traditional leaders.
Mutharika has also maintained some board chairpersons such as James Naphambo at Blantyre Water Board (BWB) and James Chuma at the Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) as well as several other directors.
The President has also included in some boards new faces that just defected to his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) such as Isaac Lamba and Salim Bagus.
Lamba, a former Peoples Party (PP) senior member and ex-diplomat, has been incorporated into the board of Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) while Bagus, a roving politician, is part of the Aircargo Limited.
Some of the parastatals that have new boards include BWB, Lilongwe Water Board (LWB), Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS), Malawi Posts Corporation (MPC), Malawi College of Accountancy (MCA), Central Region Water Board (CRWB), National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) and Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb).
However, Mutharika has once again included in some parastatal organisations with traditional leaders despite political commentators questioning the moral of their massive inclusion in previous appointments.
Chancellor College political scientist Boniface Dulani, reacting to Mutharika’s board appointments of January 2017 observed there was little traditional leaders bring to the boards as they do not have the expertise.
Dulani cited Admarc, which had been struggling, as an example that it needed a strong board to provide a positive policy direction to the institution’s executive management other than just appointing individuals to appease them.