With APM delivering a pre-recorded State of the Nation Address (Sona) yesterday, it has emerged that the real reason he threw out of the window Covid-19 preventive guidelines to join the campaign trail this week is because he wanted to hit back at former president Joyce Banda (JB). And to prove detractors that he is not sick. At a Tonse Alliance rally last week, JB had cast aspersions on APM when she called on Malawians to not vote for a drunk as president.
Parliament announced on Wednesday that in a bid to decongest the house, in compliance with coronavirus precautionary measures, APM would deliver a recorded Sona through an audio.
Firing on all cylinders, APM who had since the launch of the official campaign in early April locked himself up at the hilltop Sanjika Palace emerged from hibernation. He spurned his detractors and headed for Goliati in Thyolo after his non-appearance in the public was supposedly believed to be in observance of the Covid-19 guidelines. But nay. He had one singular aim: to hit back at the person who called him names.
There at his party’s campaign rally, he fired back at JB. But bear with us. We will not repeat the vulgarities that frothed from the President’s mouth in anger on that day. The profanities have been trending on social media the whole of the past week. In fact, a lot of people only got to know about what JB had said about APM after his Goliati expletives.
APM is generally laid back and gentle. You can even forget there is a president. He is not the type you can quickly pass for a nincompoop for what he says. Of course, he will sometimes get out of his slumber and warn detractors that ndikunyenyani nyenyani. But most of the times, he will let jabs and straight punches on him pass as if nobody said anything about him. Suffice to say that after making those offensive slurs at Goliati early this week, APM has earned himself a few accolades in the art of spewing out obscenities.
Clearly it was unbeknown to him that his unbridled enthusiasm to dress down the former president would boomerang. Human rights groups including women’s rights bodies have been on his neck prodding him to apologise to the womenfolk in the country because an attack on one woman is an attack on all of them.
The women’s organisations have also asked APM to honourably resign as the HeForShe Ambassador. The HeForShe is a solidarity campaign for the advancement of gender equality, initiated by the UN. Its goal is to achieve equality by encouraging all genders to partake as agents of change and take action against negative stereotypes and behaviours. It is grounded in the idea that gender inequality is an issue that affects all people—socially, economically and politically—it seeks to actively involve men and boys in a movement that was originally conceived as a struggle for women by men.
The women now feel APM has defiled this ambassadorial position and honour and with that development he has also lost the moral platform to speak or campaign for them. Some people are reported to have already penned the United Nations to strip him of the title.
There is no glory in being in the news for wrong reasons especially for using cuss words on political opponents. So neither JB nor APM were right in what they said about each other. But as it has turned out, society, as the jury in this matter, has condemned APM more than JB. A lesson to learn for both politicians but especially APM for coming out more scathed. Admitted, it is campaign time, but politicians can be more civil. They should keep vulgarities and expletives away from the campaign trail.