Malawi President Fires Defence Minister

By Emmanuel Muwamba – Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika on Monday (January 10, 2011) sacked his defence minister with immediate effect and took over his portfolio.

A short statement read on the national radio, Malawi Broadcasting Station, said Reckford Thotho was “fired with immediate effect” and Mutharika had assumed the defence portfolio.

The letter from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) however did not give reason why the Minister has been fired.

OPC has said the defence portfolio has reverted to President Mutharika with immediate effect.

In reaction to the sacking Thotho told the press that he is not bothered that no reasons were given for his axing.

“I not bitter at all,” said Thotho. “I will continue being loyal to President Mutharika, the government and DPP.”

Thotho was appointed Defence Minister in a cabinet reshuffle last year. He was previously held the portfolio of Minister of Information and Civic Education and also doubled as a government spokesman.

Malawians would remember him for leading the cause to change the national flag which citizens protested but government through its majority in Parliament voted for the change.

However people have labelled the changed flag as a kindergarten artistic work.

Mutharika, who ends his two-terms in 2014, last reshuffled his cabinet last June when he dropped several key figures from ministerial posts.