Analysts have laughed off claims by Minister of Gender Mary Navitcha that post-election protesters are victimising Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah because of her gender.
Though a presser on Monday held in Blantyre, the minister said people organising demonstrations demanding Ansah to step down are doing so because the MEC chairperson is a woman.
Navitcha who was in tears, said women through their grouping Forum for a Concerned Women will hold demonstrations against calls for Ansah to step down.
At the press briefing, Navitcha was with several women including activist Seodi White who said Ansah has suffered a lot due to the calls for her to resign.
Reacting to the statement, social commentator Sean Kampondeni said the claim that protesters are targeting Ansah because of her gender is silly.
“DPP’s Seodi White has tearfully claimed that the protesters demanding the resignation of Electoral Commission Chair Jane Ansah for accepting tipexxed election result sheets are doing so simply because she is a woman. In my view, this claim belongs to the same category as any claim that the reason Jane Ansah accepted those doctored result sheets was to render the elections void because all the presidential candidates were men. The category to which both claims belong is of things that are decidedly obtuse & irredeemably asinine,” Kampondeni said.
Wesley Thokozani Namasala concurred with Kampondeni saying: “Justice Anastasia Msosa was MEC Chair twice (1994 & 2009). She is a woman and I can’t remember anyone asking for resignation. The reason is simple, she managed her tasks to the satisfaction of Malawians.
“I am at pains to understand why some quarters think that the Jane Ansah issue stems from a gender basis.”
Women who commented on the issue on Facebook were also surprised with the narrative pushed by the minister saying the issue is about Ansah’s management of the polls.
“Someone remind this minister that MEC was once headed by another woman justice for two different general elections in 1994 and 2009. Justice Anastacia Msosa was also a woman and many of us were proud of her! The issue is not about gender but competency to deliver and independence in doing the job,” wrote Tionge Luhanga.
While Tiwonge Munthali said: “Misjudgement. This is not a woman versus man issue. This a battle against a compromised MEC led by a compromised chairperson. Are they not seeing that the same people they are accusing of being against a woman have put a woman on the seat of Speaker and another as second deputy? Aren’t they seeing that the nation celebrated when that happened?”