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Malawi President Sets the Tone of His Administration

Promising to “clear the rubble” of corruption within the government, Malawi’s new president is beginning his term by raising the country’s minimum wage in an attempt to win over both doubters and international donors. In an interview with the Guardian, Lazarus Chakwera, who won a historic victory over Peter Mutharika in June, urged Malawians to trust that he will deliver on his promises. “We’ve just hit the ground running. We are really looking at setting up systems and making sure they are functional. Like I say in my inaugural address, part of what we have to do is to clear the rubble,” he said. Since taking office, Chakwera, 65, has launched investigations into some of the deals agreed by the previous government, suspending contracts. Police have arrested Mutharika’s bodyguard, Norman Chisale, and deputy commissioner general for Malawi’s revenue authority, Roza Mbilizi, in connection with a cement deal. Mbilizi has been fired. Meanwhile, a number of police officers and former government officials have been arrested over allegations of violent conduct.