Coalition beats 50:50 agenda target in Nsanje

Youth Coalition for the Consolidation of Democracy (YCD), which was entrusted to conduct the 50:50 campaign, has produced three female Members of Parliament (MPs) out of five constituencies in Nsanje District which is 60 per cent representation.

Valera speaking at public meeting
Ganda speaking during a public debate for candidates

The three female MPs are Gladys Ganda of Nsanje Lalanje, Esther Mcheka Chilenje for Nsanje North and Eurita Mtiza Valeta for Nsanje South West Constituency.

YCD’s Executive Director, Francis Folley told Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Monday the development reflects the trust Nsanje now has that women can also help set the agenda after a massive mindset-change campaign by YCD in the district.

“We expected this outcome because of different strategies we put in place to support women participation and representation in the district,” said Folley.

He further called on the country’s leadership through President Arthur Peter Mutharika to ensure his new cabinet includes a good number of women.

“I feel that time has come that elections, as one of the pillars for Malawi’s national state building, should put gender issues high in the political agenda.

“Contribution of women is something that has been missing in Malawi’s development agenda which has also negatively impacted on Malawi’s growth.

“We are not just calling for women’s inclusion but looking at what women are bringing on the table for the benefit of our nation which includes men and women,” he stated.

In an interview on Sunday, Nsanje Lalanje’s legislature, Gladys Ganda said she knew that people of her constituency wanted to see change in leadership for the next five years.

She said the electorate have voiced out their views through the ballot by allowing her to lead in the parliamentary seat.

Ganda then appealed to people in the constituency to forget the past and aim at developing the area as she takes them through the five year period.

“Campaign period is over and it’s time for development which the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has for the district,” she added.

When asked if she will abandon the constituency as others feared, Ganda said she had no such plans.

“I have plans for a number of development projects for the constituency in the next five years which constituents should expect from me. So, leaving the area will just contribute to my failure come 2024,” she said.

Gladys Ganda is the first female Parliamentarian for Nsanje Lalanje since Malawi attained independence in 1964.

Eurita Mtiza Valeta, another female MP, is the fourth female parliamentarian for Nsanje South West that was ushered into the high office on May 21, 2019.

Of the trio, Dr Esther Mcheka Chilenje will be the longest serving woman legislature as she will be representing the people of Nsanje North for the third time.

She said the people have entrusted her with the task to represent them for the next five years.

“People in the constituency have in mind the development projects I have spearheaded in the area, hence their interest for me to continue the same for five-year tenure,” she said.

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