By John Ikani
Violet Chakwera, the daughter of Malawi’s President, has officially taken up a post in the Malawian Embassy in London, a development that follows months of speculation that she had joined the diplomatic service.
“She has reported for work,” Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Rejoice Shumba briefly said in an interview newsmen.
This has proved controversial, as one of President Lazarus Chakwera’s key campaign pledges when he won elections in 2020, was to end nepotism.
Reacting to the controversy, Presidential Press Secretary Anthony Kasunda told newsmen that the President did not interfere in the appointment process, which, he said, was left in the hands of Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials.
Kasunda said the President only appointed heads and deputy heads of missions.
It is not be first time that the Malawian Presidency would react to accusation of nepotism.
Talking to the BBC’s ‘Hard Talk’ last year, Chakwera said he did not influence processes of appointing people that serve as support staff in Malawi’s missions.
“And I want you to know [the truth], because I want to grow strong institutions, and I want to have ministries and departments and agencies [that] operate with minimal interference from a president. Those processes are being followed,” he told BBC’s, Sarah Montague.
Apart from the appointment of Violet, who is Chakwera’s second-born daughter, the other appointment that stirred debate is that of Margaret Kamoto, mother-in-law to Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who was appointed Malawi High Commissioner to Zambia.