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Parties dismiss gender link in Jane Ansah demonstrations

By Jameson Chauluka:

Some opposition political parties have dismissed some concerned women’s remarks that people are calling for Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah’s resignation because she is a woman.

Led by Minister of Gender Mary Navitcha, the women have since said they would hold Ansah’s solidarity march today.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP), UTM and Human Rights Defenders Coalition have, through holding demonstrations and other ways, been pushing for Ansah’s resignation citing irregularities that marred the May 21 presidential election results.

Navitcha said she stands and defends all women who are victimised.

“As a Minister of Gender, I stand and defend all women who are victimised by men, psychologically and physically. I am against abusive words, names and even insults poured on her and this doesn’t concern the court issue. Justice Dr Jane Ansah will be guilty once the court passes its judgment. The Ministry of Gender is there as an umbrella for women who are victimised and currently, Justice Dr Jane Ansah is,” she said.

But MCP campaign director, Moses Kunkuyu, said the party’s calls for Ansah’s resignation have nothing to do with her gender but how the elections were managed.

She said MCP appreciates the role women play in the country but, this time around, the Ansah-led Mec mismanaged the elections.

“The issue has nothing to do with the gender she responds to. We are talking about an office. The elections were marred by irregularities and we are saying that, as a Mec chairperson, she should resign. The country had a female Mec chair before and for all the 10 years of her term, there was nothing of this sort,” he said.

Justice Anastazia Msosa also chaired Mec over a decade ago.

UTM spokesperson Joseph Chidanti-Malunga said the women and the minister were missing the point.

“This is nothing to do with gender. They are just trying to buy sympathy but, fortunately, Malawians have already seen the plot. What we are saying is that Justice Jane Ansah, not the woman, but the Mec chairperson should step down,” he said.

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