Malawi’s Minister of Gender Patricia Kaliati has put a positive spin on the country’s First Lady, Gertrude Mutharika, abscence at a First Ladies meeting during the UN General Assembly because one of the panelists was former Malawi president Joyce Banda.
Speaking in New York with Nyasa Times on Monday, Kaliati said Mutharika delegated her to attend the meeting because on the day the First Lady had two seperate meetings with the leadership of two organisations that have agreed to provide support towards the development of Malawi through Beautify Malawi Trust (BEAM).
“The day she is said to have boycotted the meeting of First ladies, the Malawi First Lady secured two very important deals for the development of the country,” Kaliati disclosed.
According to the gender minister, on the day Mutharika met with the President of Delivering Hope, an American charity, who pledged to provide an aircraft as his contribution towards BEAM.
On the same day Mutharika, Kaliati said, met with an expert in the problem of autism who also agreed to provide technical assistance to Malawi to enable the country deal with the problem.
“As you can see, on the day she is said to have not attended the First Ladies meeting because of the presence of Dr Joyce Banda, our First Lady had very important tasks for the country,” said Kaliati.
The Gender Minister said Mutharika is a respectable woman who does not wish to be dragged into petty gossip and innuendo mongering.
“Our First Lady’s demeanor is that she does not want to be dragged into small talk that does not help the country,” said Kaliati.
The minister said she does not understand how Mutharika could have avoided the First Ladies meeting because of the presence of the former president of Malawi.
“Sometimes we should feel ashamed as a country when to bring on the international stage the petty politics that some people practice in Malawi,” said Kaliati.