The NGO Gender Coordination Network (GCN) says it is shocked that the police are yet to arrest Director of Elections for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Ben Phiri for the verbal attack on former First Lady Patricia Shanil Dzimbiri.
Phiri sparked outrage from women after insulting Dzimbiri at one of the party’s campaign rallies in Balaka district.
In a video captured at the rally, Phiri is seen insulting the former Dzimbiri.
The non-governmental organization through a press release which has been signed by its chairperson Barbara Banda and Network Coordinator Innocent Hauya said it is surprised that until now, the police have taken no action despite a public confession of wrongdoing by Phiri. The NGO said justice should not be selective and should never be delayed.
The organisation also welcomed Dzimbiri’s decision to take legal action against the DPP politician.
NGO-GCN continued to say that it is committed to ensure that women are adequately represented and are actively taking part in decision making positions in the country hence there is no need to tolerate insult which could affect woman’s participation in several activities.
“This culture of violence must never be condoned especially at a time when Malawi has made considerable progress on the domestication of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
“The Network would like to remind the accused and all gender unaware citizens that the productivity of women, men alike, can never and should never be judged based on bedroom performance. Women, just like men, are human beings endowed with rationality and intellect,” reads part of GCN.
The Network has since called on the police to move swiftly in ensuring that perpetrators of gender violence are brought to book regardless of status, sex, and party affiliation.
Phiri has since apologised to Dzimbiri and all women in Malawi for the insults.