Malawi Women Lawyers petition Mutharika over  Cabinet: Demand Mchacha to be fired

Members of Women Lawyers Association have presented a petition to President Peter Mutharika for reducing the number of women in Cabinet from four to three in the 20-member team.

Sarai Chisala presenting the petition to Muhara

The lawyers outside OPC at Capital Hill in Lilongwe

The Women Lawyers on Monday stormed the Office of President and Cabinet at Capital Hill, Lilongwe where they presented the petition to Chief Secretary to the government Lloyd Muhara.

The women lawyers led by their president Sarai Chisala are protesting against poor women representation in the cabinet.

The government has said women empowerment is more than being appointed to serve in the Cabinet.

However, Women Lawyers in their petition argue that “The Cabinet is an important organ of government where decisions affecting the nation are made.”

Reads the petition seen by Nyasa Times: “Malawi has a number of women who are well qualified to work as Ministers in all the Ministries duly established in the nation. The decision to appoint less women Cabinet Ministers is in violation of our Constitution which in Section 13 declares it to be a principle of our national policy to actively promote the welfare and development of our people by pushing for gender equality through the full participation women in all spheres of Malawian society on the basis of equal opportunities with men.”

But Minister of Information and Communications Technology Henry Mussa, who is the official government spokesperson, said people should not only look at Cabinet as there are many positions headed by women.

He said: “The Malawi Electoral Commission [MEC] chairperson is a woman as well as Competition and Fair Trading [CFTC] chief executive officer. Then we have women leaders in embassies, Parliament [First Deputy Speaker], parastatals and even principal secretaries.”

The Women Lawyers Association said they have noted with concern that recent appointments to some Boards of Statutory bodies have not included any women.

“For instance, the recently appointed Board members for the National Water Resources Authority are all male. This is in total disregard of the provisions of the Gender Equality Act which mandates an appointing authority to appoint no less than forty percent (40%) and no more than sixty percent (60%) of either sex in public office. As such the recent appointments are unlawful and have the effect of robbing women of their right to participate in affairs that concern their lives,” reads the petition.

The lawyers said the appointments are in “total disregard” to the Constitution that President Mutharika swore to protect and are in clear breach of the Gender Equality Act.

Nonetheless, Women Lawyers have protested the appointment into Cabinet foulmouthed Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor for the South Charles Mchacha who is accused of demeaning women.

The Women Lawyers Association said they are “shocked and deeply disheartened” by the appointment of Mchacha to the role of Deputy Minister of Homeland Security.

“Mr Mchacha has in the recent past unashamedly attacked, insulted and used derogatory and undignified language against women at various political rallies. His behaviour towards women who are participating in public life as equal members of our democratic nation is extremely disturbing,” reads the petition.

They argue that appointment of Mchacha in Cabinet puts into question Malawi’s commitment to the plight and welfare of women in Malawi, in particular the promises made to protect women from violence in an effort to encourage more women to run for office.

Mchacha’s appointment in Cabinet seemingly condones and rewards disrespect of women generally and women in politics in particular, the lawyers observed.

They said the development is an “affront to decency, morality and contravenes the Constitutional values and national policy principles” that President Mutharika swore to uphold.

The Women Lawyers Association therefore calls upon the office of the President to review the recent appointments and increase the number of women in the Cabinet and to include women in all Boards that have no women.

They have also demanded President Mutharika to remove Mchacha from the Cabinet for his derogatory language against women and condemn the abuse of women by all officials.

The lawyers also demand the President to ensure that all future public appointments comply with the law and the spirit of all human rights instruments that Malawi has signed up to.

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Walyapo Dende
Guest

The description Malawi Women Lawyers is insufficient. It should appear some disgruntled Malawi Women Lawyers. I know some of the Prominent respected Lawyers that are not part of this disgruntled group of Lawyers. I will not mention them because you know them. These are very respected and cannot be part of these so called Women Lawyers. My question to these disgruntled women lawyers is that, are you sure that the only case you have seen in Malawi that has concerned you is of Mchacha and few women representation on the current cabinet list? If you are Malawians and that you… Read more »

Shame
Guest
Shame

DPP has just lost a large voting block……….women……..how dare you Mr President?

matela
Guest
matela

UTM WILL PROMOTE MORE WOMEN TO BIG POST

Moya
Guest
Moya

Leave mchacha alone, Mchacha is not the problem here because we have many idiots in this country just like him or worse but they are not any where near the government offices but confined in farms, the biggest problem is the person who thinks out the whole population of adult Malawians Mchacha is a genius enough to serve as a cabinet minister, really? That’s the top most idiot that needs to step down or be petitioned. Bcoz how many more idiotic decision will he make even if mchacha was to step down today? Is that the person we would trust… Read more »

Kunkuyu
Guest
Kunkuyu

Women lawyers women lawyers….Ma Lawyer ake ati? Ntchito kuyenda ndi Amuna aeni? How come ma Lawyer onse amene anapita ku Capital Hill alibe Amuna? Kuyambira Sarai Chisala, tionetseni mwamuna wake. Nanga Ombudsman Martha Chizuma? Nanga Phoebe Chikungwa? Nanga Martha Kaukonde? Nanga Sara Nayeja? Basi ntchito kungokhalira kunjonjola ndi Amuna aeni? Bwenzitu mukumakhala serious!

By the way, Law Commissioner Mzimayi. Secretary for Justice Mzimayi. MEC Chair Mzimayi. Ombudsman Mzimayi. CFTC CEO Mzimayi. NCIC CEO Mzimayi. MEDF CEO Mzimayi. ADL CEO Mzimayi. Air Cargo CEO Mzimayi. Clerk of Parliament Mzimayi. Mwati Azimayi amenewa mitu yawo ikugwira ntchito? Kapena amakafunsira chibwenzi kwa Muhara?

Mafana
Guest
Mafana

A very prominent lawyer and women’s rights activist who is conspicuously missing from this group of women is Seodi White. Akhuwa bwanji atapana banzi pakamwa Kkkkk!!!

Kawawa
Guest
Kawawa

The most unfortunate and ironic thing about all these theatrics by you women is that come May, 2019 you are all going to vote for Mutharika and his DPP en masse. What you should be doing is to actively and visibly campaign against him and his DPP. Campaign for any other presidential candidate but him.

Otambwali
Guest

The majority of voters is women so use that power and vote for your own woman. You failed your own Joyce Banda and now you marching to a man to do it for you. Kampezeni Yesu. Women must learn first thing, support each other first. You let down Joyce Banda.

Kholowa
Guest
Kholowa

Ask this poor man of God who is based in south africa who owns many cars than Abramovich (chelsea owner)called Salanje for an opinion.

Holly Tit
Guest
Holly Tit

Damn. Those are some ugly women

Mafana
Guest
Mafana

Oh me gosh! Those are some beautiful women.

Patrick Mbewe
Guest
Patrick Mbewe

Koma. Cadet maso anafa basi. Akazi okongola ngati awa, komanso a nzeru. Your justice madams, ulemu wanu

josemapem
Guest
josemapem

So your eyes only see discrimination of women when it comes to political appointments yet in your own work place women are discriminated against and you remain quite. Otherwise the motivation is not really the plight of women but an attempt to see the fall of APM and his DPP. Ingoyambisani chipani kapena join zipani zotsutsa zomwe zilipo kalezi.

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