Presidential Fiasco Draws Avalanche of Anger

Dr. Banda: Attacked sexually Dr. Banda: Attacked sexually File Photo

President Peter Mutharika’s first outing for the campaign appears to have dealt a blow to his quest to return to office as he has rattled feathers of the women’s rights organizations after he referred to his predecessor Dr. Joyce Banda as a prostitute who tried in vain to lay President Bingu wa Mutharika.

This was in apparent retaliation after Dr. Banda had, at an opposition political rally at Njamba Freedom Park, intimated that Peter Mutharika was an undisciplined drunk who could not handle a Chinese wine.

But the NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) has expressed concern over what it has described as “demeaning remarks made by our state president…on the former head of state.

“…such remarks are utterly unbefitting for one reckoned as a He-For-She champion. At a time when the country is still trying to recover from permeating trends of political violence…His Excellency’s first public appearance would not have been more carelessly handled. 

“…we would like to urge the president to issue an unconditional apology to Dr. Joyce Banda. The apology would go a long way in calming the environment,” reads a statement from the Network noting that it was hypocritical that Mutharika made the remarks not long after calling for issue-based politics.

NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) Chairperson. Barbara Banda has told Zodiak Online that the network would thus like to ask President Mutharika to walk the talk on the conduct of the campaign.

“He himself, all political players and all Malawians in the country should …stick to issue-based campaign as insults only incite aggravated acts of political violence,” she said urging the state broadcaster to also stick to issues of national importance as continued broadcast of hate language could trigger problems.

Reacting on the same, Women’s Manifesto Movement Secretarial officer, Maggie Banda, said in the absence of an apology and retraction of the “prostitute” remark, President Mutharika should expect an undisclosed wave of public reaction after the rights bodies will hold consultations with other groups.

“We demand an immediate public apology and retraction of that statement. The president should also consider apologizing personally to Dr. Joyce Banda.

“We know that this is a campaign period but this went overboard. He must apologize,” she said.

The matter has drawn mixed reaction in the social media with most discussants sarcastically debating the president’s confession that he enjoys red wine in reference to the presidential fiasco.

President Mutharika’s Press Secretary, Mgeme Kalilani, has refused to comment on this.

Blantyre University analyst Saleem Kaisi says for as long as political hate speech continues with the on-going campaign, violence shall remain the order of the day.

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