9 November 2018

Malawi: State House Defends Mchacha's Appointment in Cabinet

State House has defended President Peter Mutharika's appointment of overzealous ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor for the South, Charles Mchacha, after he has been widely criticised for publicly branding some female politicians as "prostitutes" for holding different views.

Mchacha has been appointed Deputy Minister of Homeland Security which also includes Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma).

His appointment now comes hot on the heals of his rant that all women who are not in DPP, but with other parties particulary the UTM, are 'mahule' (whores).

Mchacha in his recent outburst on Sunday in Ndirande during a DPP rally addressed by the party's vice president (Southern Region) Kondwani Nankhumwa, attacked members of Vice President Saulos Chilima's UTM as thieves, promiscuous and satanic.

Women's Legal Resources Centre (Worlec) executive director Maggie Kathewera Banda said President Mutharika's decision to "reward" Mchacha for slut-shaming women is frustrating women.

Posting on Facebook, commentator Idriss Ali Nassah wrote: " It's now clear that the nonsense that Charles Mchacha spews is actually with the approval and encouragement of his boss, President Peter Mutharika."

But presidential press secretary Mgeme Kalilani defended Mchacha's appointment, saying the loudmouth politician does not insult women in general.

"Honourable Mchacha has not been insulting woman, But there are one or two specific women politicians who have decided to specialise in insulting the President and the First Lady personally in the name of politics.

"What Mchacha has been doing is to merely censure the foul language coming from these two frustrated women," said Kalilani.

Other have accused Mchacha of acting against the current national discourse about encouraging women to meaningfully participate in politics--and that turning women's sexuality into a weapon against them is scaring women away from participating in politics.

Mchacha, who is also Thyolo West legislator, is returning as deputy minister after he once served as deputy minister of finance at the same time he was sitting his Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) during the tenure of late president Bingu wa Mutharika.

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