The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has called upon all political parties and their supporters to stick to issue – based campaign and desist from making destructive remarks for the protection of Malawi’s hard – earned democracy.
The Commission says it has noted with great concerns the continued tendency among politicians of making derogatory and offensive remarks during this elections campaign period.
It says recently, President Prof. Peter Mutharika made remarks cannoting that the former President, Dr. Joyce Banda is a prostitute and this was during his whistle stop rally on 1st June, 2020 in Thyolo saying the remarks were apparently provoked by what was said earlier by Dr.Joyce Banda at a public rally in Blantyre insinuating that the current Head of State is a drunkard.
This is contained in a statement signed by its chairperson, Reverend Patrick Semphere on derogatory and insensitive political remarks.
In a statement, the Commission says it is unreservedly condemns both statement as irresponsible, insensitive, uncalled for and not exemplary saying such atterances clearly fall below demands or propriety as expected from well cultured Malawian citizens of the statute of a former Head of State and a sitting Head of State.
“While the former President was wrong in using derogatory remarks against the current State President, the President himself should have exercised statesmanship by not repeating the same mistake of uttering remarks that amount to demeaning the modesty of a woman, and a former State President for that matter, saying such remarks do not augur well with the office of the President and this does not set a good example for aspiring politicians.
A statement says Section 61(1) of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act states that ,” Notwithstanding guarantees of freedom of expression, information and assembly under this Act meaning that no person shall, in campaigning in an election, use language which is inflammatory, defamatory or insulting or which constitutes incitement to public disorder, insurrection, hate, violence or war.
The Commission says it finds the remarks of the Head of State demeaning and insulting to the dignity of women apart from being inflammatory saying what is more worrying is that the said insults came from the State President who is currently the United Nations Champion for the HE- for- SHE Gender Equity campaign.