State Vice President Joyce Banda has strongly condemned the spate of recent violent attacks against women in the country.
Ugly scenes of vendors and other unidentified people stripping naked women who wore trousers were reported in Lilongwe on Tuesday. Unconfirmed reports of similar incidents were also reported in Mzuzu and Blantyre on Wednesday. They have accused such women of ‘indecency’.
According to Banda, women play an important role in Malawi and that they must be respected and protected, particularly taking cognizance that women give life.
“Vendors should know that when they attack, women they are attacking their mothers and sisters,” said the first Malawi woman State Vice President and founding leader of the People’s Party (PP) said on Wednesday in the Capital, Lilongwe.
Banda said Malawi is already in a state of hopelessness and people must come together to identify the problems and come up with common solutions.
“Why are the people of Malawi angry and what is it that they were promised and why were these promises not fulfilled. The international community is looking at what is happening in Malawi and wondering why Malawians were in a state of anarchy,” she said.
Meanwhile, government spokeswoman Patricia Kaliati told reporters that women should be allowed to dress whatever they want.
“Whether women want to put on a night dress and go to church or market, its their choice so long as they have dressed up,” she said.
Malawi, an impoverished southern Africa state, faces a deteriorating political, social and economic order with months of uncertainty since a few months after the incumbent President Bingu wa Mutharika was re-elected for his second and final term in May 2009.
Long and winding queues of motorists hoping to buy fuel are a common site in the country’s towns and cities. There is forex scarcity rendering manufacturers and other businesses unable to import.