After Nyasa Times reported that state broadcaster MBC director of news and programmes Chimwemwe Banda described presenter Marie Segula as “ugly” for television, human rights activist Seodi White has slammed Banda for abusing rights of fellow women.
The remark ignited a furious backlash and First Lady Callista Mutharika also condemned the “crass” remarks. She made it very clear, in no uncertain terms, that the comments were unacceptable.
Adding her voice, executive director of the Women in Law in Southern Africa (WLSA-Malawi), Seodi is quoted in the Weekend Timesnewspaper that calling someone ugly was an abuse and “despising God”.
“We are all created in the image of God, so to call someone ugly surely is despising His creation,” Seodi is quoted as saying.
She described the remarks as harassment at work and pointed out that Segula has been “injured”.
Seodi accused Banda that her conduct is tantamount to discouraging aspiring presenters who would not have the confidence to face the public.
Segula also told the paper that she indeed was injured with the “demoralising incident.”
As reported by Nyasa Times , Banda made the remark after Segula was picked by Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) to host the 6th Comesa First Ladies meeting in Lilongwe last year.
She accused OPC of not consulting her, saying:” Kodi inu simumamva bwanji? Ndinakuuzani kuti TV is about showbiz, sitimangotenga munthu aliyense, why didn’t you ask me first? [Some of these ugly faces you are picking are not for such functions.]”
Manay Malawians have demanded Banda to make a public apology on her conduct while others said even the most clear-cut apology won’t do because the comments were “stupid and crass”.
Meanwhile, MBC director general Bright Malopa tried to defuse the row by saying he does not believe that Banda made the such remarks.
“I doubt if Chimwemwe really said that,” Malopa told Nyasa Times.
He also said Segula was still with the state broadcaster working at MBC Radio 2, moved from television.
“She was interviewed and recruited by Chimwemwe Banda.It was Chimwemwe who recomended her to become a news anchor whilst on probation which is not the norm.I wonder how she can block someone on a less taxing asignment like MC whilst allowing her to go on air?” Malopa said.
He described Mary as a “brilliant” presenter and ofcourse beautiful.
Nyasa Times has been failing to get hold of Banda for comment. An email has been sent to her but has not been replied for days.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :