The Human Rights Defenders Coalition – HRDC has demanded public apology from President Peter Mutharika for using derogatory remarks against former president Joyce Banda.
Mutharika called former President Joyce Banda a prostitute during a campaign rally in Thyolo on Monday.
HRDC Chairperson Gift Trapence told journalists in Lilongwe on Tuesday that it is disappointing to note that Mutharika who is a HeForShe Champion would utter such an immoral statement.
“Being a President and a HeForShe Champion, Mutharika could have demonstrated sound leadership not degrading the dignity of women in the country,” wondered Trapence.
Trapence said the Coalition will take unspecified action if President Mutharika will not issue an apology over his sentiments.
HRDC brand female rights member Beatrice Mateyo told YFM that Mutharika’s remarks are very worrying in as far as issues to do with protection of women’s rights are concerned.
“It is unfortunate that President Mutharika uttered such sexist remarks, we expected him to be at the forefront protecting the rights of women so that is a worrisome development,” said Mateyo.
She added that the Coalition will take unspecified action if President Mutharika will not issue an apology over his sentiments.
“We will sit down and reflect but we will not sit down until we get the apology from the President because this behavior cannot be condoned, if it coming from the President then he is encouraging other people in the community that this is the right behaviour,” said Mateyo.
Meanwhile, the Women Manifesto Movement has also condemned Mutharika’s derogatory remarks.
The movement said in a statement released on Tuesday that Mutharika’s utterances are a serious act of violence against women.
It said it is sad the violence is perpetrated by the very same leader who is supposed to defend and protect women.