Former President and leader of People’s Party (PP) Joyce Banda on Friday admonished her party’s secretary general Ibrahim Matola for uttering derogatory remarks against Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah.
Matola used some words which many viewed as abusive during a National Elections Consultative Forum (Necof) meeting organised by the electoral body in Blantyre to update political stakeholders following the nullification of the May 21 2019 presidential elections.
But in a rare act of rationality among political leaders, the former president, who is a champion of global women, issued a statement in which she publicly condemned her secretary general, saying Ansah did not deserve such treatment.
“I condemn in the strongest terms what Hon. Ibrahim Matola said about Justice Dr. Jane Ansah when he was making his contribution at the Necof meeting in Blantyre.
“There are many things Justice Ansah could have done or said during this electoral process that I do not agree with, but she does not deserve to be spoken to in that manner,” said the former president in her statement.
Added Banda: “I am told that Hon Matola has apologised but I am very sorry about this apparent abuse of a fellow woman and regardless of who has made the remarks, I condemn them in the strongest manner.”
On International Women’s Day commemoration last Sunday, Banda was a guest speaker at the launch of Ellen Sirleaf Presidential Women’s Center in Liberia where she also highlighted how African women in leadership positions are being abused.
The PP secretary general made the supposed undesirable remarks as he contributed to the debate in which he called for the immediate resignation of Ansah as MEC chairperson.
But immediately after Matola pronounced the words, scores of delegates, who were drawn from political parties, academia, civil society organisations and faith community, among others, took him to task to unconditionally apologise and withdraw his statement which he did.
Last year, Banda also strongly condemned senior Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) official and former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Ben Phiri after he uttered insulting remarks against former First Lady Patricia Shanil Muluzi, saying as far as she was concerned women need to be respected.