VP demands apology for Kaliati’s anti-north rant

People’s Party President Joyce Banda, who is also Malawi’s Vice President, has asked MPs from the northern region to demand a public apology from Minister of Information Patricia Kaliati for accusing northerners of creating disorder and political instability in the country.

Last week the Alliance for Democracy (Aford) also asked for an apology from Kaliati but the minister told Nyasa Timesthat she cannot apologise for saying what she considers to be the truth.

Banda: Demands Kaliati's apology for insulting people of the north

“It makes me very sad that some people in this government have been despising northerners at every opportunity. This is a serious matter and should not be allowed to continue. MPs from this side must seek an audience with Mutharika and ask him to order Kaliati to withdraw her remarks,” said a visibly concerned Banda, a southerner who is married to a northerner – former Chief Justice Richard Banda.

The Vice President said government spokesperson’s sentiments were recipe for genocide, saying Rwanda was a case in point.

Banda made the demand during PP’s regional launch held at Katoto Freedom Park in Mzuzu on Saturday and asked people in the north to vote the MPs out in 2014 if they fail to press Mutharika on the matter.

It is not the first time Kaliati has deliberately denigrated the people from the north.

Kaliati has repeatedly raised issues against northerners. She has incessantly castigated northerners for possessing mansions in the Southern or Central regions and not in the north.

But Banda said it is not a crime for Malawians to settle anywhere in country because they have the right to do so.

“I have many of my Yao brothers everywhere in the north and some have married and settled here,” she said.

Banda also unveiled her party’s ambitious plans saying PP will do away with the controversial Quota system of selecting students to Malawi’s public university, saying the system apart from being discriminatory was also unconstitutional.

“It is also disheartening to hear that youths with 8 points at MSCE are committing suicide because they have not been selected to university because they come from the north,” she said.

Banda also wondered why Malawi’s university enrolment has not improved since 1964.

“In 1994 Rwanda had a total University enrolment of 3,000 but today it has 24,000 while Malawi has stagnated at less than 10, 000,” she noted.

The rally was attended by thousands of people clad in orange colours of the People’s Party.

Cross section of people who attended Joyce Banda's rally in Mzuzu

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