It never rains but pours for fired Information and Civic Education Minister Patricia Botomani Kaliati, and it pours cats and dogs as she was booed and hissed at Sanjika Palace Friday afternoon by hordes of Malawians when she went to pay her last respects to the remains of the fallen Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika.
According to eye witnesses the former exaggerative cosmetic-make-up glitzy minister who is also DPP Member of Parliament for Mulanje West arrived at Sanjika Palace in a private black Mercedes Benz to pay her homage to the late president whose remains are lying in state in the country’s commercial city of Blantyre.
“Soon as she entered the gates of Sanjika Palace chauffeur-driven in a private Mercedes Benz people started taunting and hissing at her, digging at her as a traitor who has deserted the fallen president’s family in this trying period.
“People were shouting on top of her voice calling her names accusing her of having being stone-hearted who only revered the departed president only when he was alive,” said the source.
The source explained that Kaliati had to put up a brave face and proceeded to view the body of the late president. But as soon as she was about to leave the premises the crowds were at it again, this time hurling verbal abuse at her.
“It was too bad that she had to duck into the car and immediately sped off as the crowd kept bursting with verbosity against her with most of the people poking fun at her sense of make-up application extravagance.
“Others were heard shouting, (Akweni, ndiye ndi mtembo woyenda basi, m’chifukwa chake mumaphoda moposa muyeso) You are a walking corpse, and that is why you ridiculously wear make-up more than is necessary),” said the eyewitness.
Another eye-witness told Nyasa Times that when Kaliati left the main building on her way out she thought her woes were far from over but her affliction and despair had just began as she met yet another barrage of insults on her way out with a multitude of bystanders joining in the fray to dig at her, mocking her person.
“As the car she was travelling in cruising past the crowds’ people were randomly pouring a verbal tirade. It was of them moments that one wishes to disappear into thin air, as the mob chanted rant and rave against her,” said Jonathan Malikebu, a Chilomoni resident who also went to Sanjika Palace for body viewing of the late President’s remains.
Another eyewitness Rosetta Kalimapanjira, a Ndirande resident said it was appalling for people to hurl insults at a Member of Parliament at Sanjika palace considering the fact that everybody was there to pay final respects to the late president who succumbed to an impulsive cardiac arrest.
Kaliati is facing sedition charges alongside other five serving ministers, Dr Jean Kalirani, (Health) Henry Mussa, (Local Government) Vuwa Kaunda, (Sports) and deputy ministers Nicholas Dausi (OPC) and Kondwani Nankhumwa (Foreign Affairs) after Watson Katawa, a Nkhata Bay business dragged then to court allegedly for undermining a constitutional order under section 83 (4) which stipulates that in case of the incumbent president’s death or incapacitation the vice president ascends to power.
Born in 1967 at the village Nkando, in Mulanje district, Kaliati trained as a primary school teacher in 1988 at Bembeke Teachers Training College in Dedza.
Kaliati was elected Member of Parliament United Democratic Front (UDF) ticket and was appointed deputy Minister of Health in Bakili Muluzi administration in 2000.
Between 2002 and 2004 Kaliati was then shuffled to Deputy Minister of National Public Events and then Deputy Minister of Local Government.
She was re-elected in 2004 and was appointed Minister of Information and Tourism, renamed Minister of Information and Civic Education in May 2007, holding that position until May 2009.
In the May 2009 elections Kaliati was again elected on the DPP ticket.
Mutharika appointed Kaliati as the Minister of Gender, Children and Community Development in the cabinet that became effective on 15 June 2009.
But Kaliati was dropped from the cabinet on 9 August 2010 and a year later she was drafted back into cabinet this time she was entrusted with a responsibility as Minister of Information and Civic Education in September 2011 thus automatically becoming the government’s mouthpiece
In March 2012 Kaliati was accused of threatening a journalist who had written an article critical of her performance in the cabinet.
A few weeks later the ousted vocal minister was also on the other side of publicity when she was reported to have threatened a reporter Gregory Gondwe for critical reporting.
But Kaliati career as a minister hit yet another snag after the death of Mutharika. The minister on April 6th led a group of five ministers alongside the DDP politburo in addressing a late night news conference at MBC studios in the capital, Lilongwe declaring that the republican vice president Joyce Banda is not eligible to take over the reins of power arguing that she (Banda) formed her own party.
In a twist of events Joyce Banda was sworn in as Malawi’s President the next day at Parliament Building.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :