Renowned Malawi’s gender activist Faustace Chirwa on Wednesday resigned as Malawi Council for the Handicapped (Macoha) board chairperson because of what she termed ethical and personal grounds.
In a questionnaire interview, Chirwa, who was one of the activists appointed by President Joyce Banda in the parastatal boards, confirmed to have already tendered in a resignation letter to the appointing authority.
Chirwa said she was convinced that some of the appointments are aimed at silencing vocal civil society activists and that she was sidelined because despite the appointment, she did not abandon her activism of providing checks and balances to government.
Said Chirwa: “I have with effect from Monday, February 18 2013 resigned as Macoha Board chairperson on ethical and personal reasons. Ethical in the sense that in the event that I join mainstream politics not in PP [People’s Party] as I was already rejected during its convention on August 27 2012, my views may come into conflict with the ideologies of PP. Personal [because of] gossiping, which is way beyond my credibility.”
Chirwa said she has resigned to avoid jeopardising Macoha as the gap that was there between her and the appointing authority had potential to affect the board’s role at Macoha since some issues need one-on-one discussion between the chair and the President.
When asked if the appointment of CSO leaders compromises their independence, Chirwa said: “In a way, I think we are [compromised]. If you refer to the sentiments [within the government system], if true, [it] means I was appointed with a view to being silenced and not say anything negative about the presidency. But I have continued doing so.”
Efforts to speak to government spokesperson, Moses Kunkuyu proved futile as he was reportedly in a meeting while presidential press secretary Steven Nhlane could not be reached and did not respond to a questionnaire.