Peter Mutharika under fire

BANDA—The remarks are demeaning

Various institutions such as Malawi Law Society (MLS) and Women’s Manifesto have censured President Peter Mutharika for the remarks that he made in Thyolo on Monday where he attacked the Judiciary and former president Joyce Banda.

Mutharika described the decision of the courts to nullify his 2019 reelection as a judicial coup and used some unpalatable words to respond to Banda’s earlier sentiments which implied the President is a drunkard.

In a statement released Tuesday, MLS says Mutharika’s attack on the Judiciary is unfortunate because the latter has no access to political podiums where they can respond to the allegations.


“[The Law Society] calls upon the State President to lead by example by at all times preserving and upholding the rule of law and promoting the respect, independence and integrity of the Malawi Judiciary as a separate constitutional arm of government with constitutional responsibility,” reads the statement signed by MLS president Burton Mhango and Honorary Secretary Martha Kaukonde.

The lawyers’ body further urges all politicians to refrain from any further direct or indirect attack on the Judiciary.

According to MLS, the judges of the High Court and the justices of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal in their respective judgments duly gave reasons in writing for their decisions in the presidential election cases, “thereby duly discharged their constitutional responsibility on the matters before them”.


In an earlier attack directed at the Judiciary on Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, Mutharika said the decision by the courts to nullify the presidential election was one of the most unfortunate in history of the jurisprudence.

In a separate statement, the Women’s Manifesto, has described Mutharika’s attack on Banda as uncalled for from a leader and father of a nation.

One of the signatories of the statement, Maggie Banda, Mutharika was supposed to act better being a global He-For- She Champion who is supposed to champion rights of women and girls.

“As women we regard this as a serious act of violence against women perpetrated by the very same leader who is supposed to defend and protect the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi. The remarks are very demeaning to all women and girls including those who were cheering him on,” Banda said.

NGO Gender Coordination Network Chairperson Barbara Banda concurred with Women’s Manifesto, saying it is disheartening for a whole President to alter such words against a former Head of State.

Acting Executive Director of Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives, Sylvester Namiwa, also charged that Mutharika’s sentiments have dragged the presidency into disrepute.

Namiwa said they are giving Mutharika 48 hours to withdraw the words and apologize to all women in Malawi.

“For starters, Mutharika’s own Cabinet minister Ben Phiri was forced to apologise to all the women in Malawi after making similar remarks in Balaka in reference to former First Lady Shanil Dzimbiri.

“Not long ago, another Cabinet minister Charles Mchacha was also forced to apologize to journalist Bobby Kabango for showering him with insults,” Namiwa said.

In another statement, Tonse Alliance directors of women Patricia Mkanda (Malawi Congress Party) and Annie Makuta (UTM) have also asked Mutharika to publicly apologise to Banda.

“Should he fail to do so within 48 hours, we shall lodge a formal complaint with UN Women and demand that Mutharika be stripped of his designation as a He4She champion,” reads the statement in part.

Mutharika’s spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani refused to comment on the condemnation directed at his boss.

The campaign period ahead of the fresh presidential election has been marred by mudslinging, a departure from the commitments which the politicians made, that their search for votes would be issue-based.

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