State Vice President Joyce Banda on Sunday organized a luncheon for scores of women professionals and entrepreneurs at her official Mudi Residence in Malawi’s commercial capital, Blantyre, pledging she would continue to defend the Constitutional “without fear or favour”.
Banda, who is also the founding leader of the People’s Party (PP) that when she was being sworn in as State Vice President alongside President Bingu wa Mutharika, she made an oath to uphold and defend the Supreme Law of the land, which among others provides for government to provide for its citizens the basic human needs such as education, drugs, fuel, among others.
“It is my responsibility to raise an alarm whenever the people of this country; my employers are derived of their basic needs and necessities. I would be abrogating my constitutional obligation if I kept quiet when people continued suffering in the face of adverse shortage of fuel, drugs, learning and teaching materials, among others.
“It was the President and I that took this constitutional oath and I am usually amazed when someone who was not even there when we took this oath demands that I should resign for allegedly attacking a government that I am part of.
“For Christ sake, I don’t attack the government; I am only reminding them of our collective and constitutional duty to ensure citizens wellbeing,” said Malawi’s first woman Vice President, noting that she was aware that when she does that she was putting her life in danger “but when I was taking that oath, I said I would respect the Constitution without fear or favour”.
She said in line with her PP’s three cornerstones of Unity, Equity and Development, she shall continue to advocate for political freedom among the citizens, noting that it was only when people enjoy political freedom that they can experience and enjoy meaningful socio-economic advancement as individuals, families and as a nation.
“I will fight for political freedom where journalists can freely speak without fear of repercussions; I long for a Malawi where houses are not torched for merely holding dissenting views,” the VP said, explaining that in unity there is strength where people can collectively develop their nation and that united people stand; divided, people fall.
“Equity, as one of our three cornerstones as a party, implies that we shall have to share the national cake equitably; that we shall not discriminate and segregate against others based on tribal lines.
“I am cognizant of the fact that we cannot achieve complete equity as naturally, some will still have to be more equal than others, but we must create an enabling environment where people are offered the opportunity to unlock their hidden potentials.
“For instance, as leaders we must create as much employment opportunities as possible, citing the example of Zambia, which she said had graduated into a middle-class nation owing to deliberate policies to improve the general socio-economic landscape of neighbouring nation,” said the VP.
The Vice President took the opportunity to introduce to the gathering the People’s Party Orange Achievers wing, which she said comprises of working class and business women that may not necessarily participate in mainstream party activities. She extend an invitation to women that were not yet members of the Orange Achievers to be part of the wing and share and exchange with friends various experiences.
She thanked women for “being always there for me” and said she had recently observed that many men, too, had offered their support to her and expressed unreserved gratitude to the men folk in the country.
“I must assure you that I don’t take it for granted when you stand by me; I deeply appreciate,” she said, saying above all, she thanked God the almighty for His love and mercy for her personally, evidenced by many miraculous developments that had taken place in her both personal, professional and political life.
PP National Director for Women Clara Makungwa and her deputy and Director of Ceremonies Etinnor Koloviko thanked Banda for inviting the women to join her for lunch. They also thanked all women “for coming at a very short notice”.
Pastor Towera Masiku led the gathering in prayer and gospel hymns.
Other high profile women that attended the function were Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo, Banda’s young sister, and a development worker and educator who was selected by celebrity Madonna as CEO and Head of the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls in Malawi; former Mulanje Parliamentarian, Ebbie Mathanda, personal assistant in VP’s office, Cecelia Kumpukwe, Chairperson for charitable Chimaliro Women’s Group, Mary Mpanga and her executive members.
Joyce Banda Foundation International Executive Director Edith Akridge and scores of professionals and high-profile businesswomen largely drawn from Blantyre were also in attendance.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :