President Joyce Banda has finally fired former first lady Callista Mutharika from her position of
national coordinator of the Safe Motherhood Initiative and replaced her with Dorothy Ngoma, executive director of the National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives (NOMN).
The firing of Callista and hiring of Ngoma were announced on Wednesday evening by the Office of the President and Cabinet.
The late president Bingu wa Mutharika snatched the position of national coordinator from the current president Joyce Banda and gave it to his wife, Callista.
Mutharika went further and ordered government to arrange monthly salary of K1.3 million for Callista.
Civil society organizations queried Callista’s salary arguing that she was doing charity work and so not eligible to receive salary.
Due to pressure, government bowed down to the CSOs and scrapped off the salary but said the former first lady would not pay back arrears.
When she was in the position, Callista used to ridicule Banda who had then filled out of grace with the late president administration, saying she was a mere market woman selling (Mandasi) fritters.
Banda – who has a degree in early childhood education – took all this in her stride, saying she was glad to be identified with market women since more than 80% of Malawian women belong to that category:
Meanwhile, Callista is mourning her husband, Bingu who died on April 5 2012.