Women, taking up in various social media platforms, have expressed anger over President Peter Mutharika’s disrespectful to former First Lady Callista Mutharika , his sister in-law, by calling her by her maiden name over political differences.
Mutharika called the former First Lady Callista Chapola instead of Callista Mutharika.
President Mutharika said he was angered by remarks by the former First Lady who described the Malawi leader as a Mtchona, a person who has lived most of the time abroad.
Mutharika has lived close to 40 years in the US where he lectured at a university there.
Writing in various social media platforms, most women said it was disrespectful for the President to call the former First Lady by her maiden name, saying the president’s brother, Bingu wa Mutharika, died whilst the who were still married.
The women said it was not true that the former First Lady abandoned the former president, saying a presidential commission of inquiry clearly shows that Mrs Mutharika was one of the first people to arrive at Kamuzu Central Hospital after Bingu collapsed at Kamuzu Palace.
Hetherwick Ntaba, one of Bingu’s personal physician said he arrived at the hospital after Callista had arrived already looked distressed.
President Mutharika and the remnant of the Bingu cabinet refused to tell the nation that Bingu had died and it took two days before the announcement was made after the South African government threatened to reveal that the Malawi leader then had died.
Mutharika and the DPP did not want the former vice president Joyce Banda as president as it is provided for in the Republican Constitution
Recently, former president Bakili Muluzi —the country’s second Head of State who formed the first multiparty administration in 1994— also called for politicians to respect President Mutharika, noting that some politicians were disrespecting the President by calling him ‘mtchona’, a description of someone who has been away from his or her country for long.
University of Malawi analyst Henry Chingaipe said there is nothing wrong with calling Mutharika that way because it is a truth that exists.
He said: “It depends on what respect is because respect is a generation aspect. What other generations understand as respect is not the similar thing as what our generation understands what respect is. For them not saying the truth is sometimes respectful but for us saying the truth is not a show of disrespect.”
According to Chingaipe, the fact that Mutharika is a ‘mtchona’ and what the former first lady and the incumbent President’s in-law Callista Mutharika and others said about him is just a statement of fact since Mutharika stayed abroad for decades where he was employed as an academic.
Muluzi appealed to politicians against abusing the spirit of multiparty democracy as that is destroying the country.
He also urged people to exercise their democratic rights with responsibility and respect their leaders.
Said Muluzi: “Please do not destroy this country because of politics. This is the only country we have. Should we destroy it because of politics? Multiparty should not destroy this country.
“Whether mlamu [in-law] or not, you cannot stand on the podium and call your President mtchona.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :