The Muslim Supreme Council of Malawi has condemned former first lady Callista Mutharika and United Transformation Movement (UTM) secretary general Patricia Kaliati for allegedly dragging First Lady Gertrude Mutharika into “cheap politics”.
The council’s leadership told the media in Blantyre on Saturday that what Callista and Kaliati purportedly said during a UTM rally at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre on July 29 was tantamount to “deliberate provocation” of the First Lady.
The Muslim body leaders—chairperson Yasin Katungwe and secretay Imran Katona—claimed that in their speeches Callista and Kaliati mentioned about a First Lady who went to school at St. Mary’s Girls Secondary School in Zomba and allegedly failed her Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations. They body’s leaders argued this was a direct reference to the current First Lady who was educated there.
But reacting to the condemnation, Kaliati took a swipe at the council’s leaders and warned them against taking her name for granted.
She said: “Let me sincerely thank them because the only person they fear most is Patricia Kaliati. I never introduced that issue. It was the former first lady [Callista] who said she got information from the school and I only commented on her exposure. I didn’t even know about it until she mentioned.
“Actually, it is an insult to me to say I am dragging the First Lady into politics. As a religious organisation, we expect them to unite every citizen and what they are doing is divisive.”
On her part, Callista said she was surprised with the council’s leadership outburst as she was not dragging anybody into politics.
She said: “I never mentioned anybody’s name and I am surprised with their blame, they are condemning me for what?”