‘Being a woman doesn’t mean I am brainless’: Malawi Pres. Banda reacts to media accord rejection

President Joyce Banda has said that Malawians should not think that for being a woman leader she is brainless person who can be signing anything without proper consultations.

She made the statement on Monday during a political rally she held at Utale Community Day Secondary school area in the eastern district of Balaka.

The statement was in reaction to what she said accusation from some members of the society over her rejection to sign the media accord known as Declaration of Table Mountain.

“Before I finish speaking, let me say something on what people are saying over the Declaration of Table Mountain. Let me tell you Malawians that the Declaration simply states that those who insult the President should not the prosecuted. It gives freedom to anybody to insult the President without being prosecuted,”   she told the gathering.

President Banda: I consult widely

President Banda: I consult widely

Banda said the reason she rejected signing the media accord was because she was not given enough time to consult legal experts on the matter.

“I was just given one week to sign. And sadly, even the Attorney General told me that he knows nothing about the Declaration.

“And people should know that to be a woman is not a problem and also being a female president doesn’t mean that I am daft. I wouldn’t sign the bill on my own.  I needed to consult,” she said.

She said her predecessor late Bingu wa Mutharika “abused these laws but when I came in I said I won’t waste time following those insult me,” she said. “So I won’t use these laws but I’m not signing (the declaration) in case another president wants to use these laws in future.”

President Banda also wondered why many countries haven’t signed the accord.

“What you should know Malawians is that all the countries in SADC region have rejected to sign the media accord. Even the British haven’t signed such declarations. I can’t sign this accord now, may be next time, I have to consult legal experts,” she said.

She recently said she stopped reading newspapers and watching television because the media was on the campaign to destroy her with negative reporting. She went as far as blaming the media for the death of Mutharika.

During the ceremony President Banda elevated Sub-Traditional Authority Nkaya to full Traditional Authority.

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