More Civil Society Organisations have castigated UPND Presidential Advisor and experienced politician William Banda for issuing patriarchal sexist remarks against New Heritage Party President Chishala Kateka.
Mr. Banda, a former UNIP Vigilante, accused Ms. Kateka of being sexually starved after her lone protest over high cost of essential commodities earlier this week.
The Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) has issued a strong statement saying it is utterly appalled and disgusted by the patriarchal sexist remarks that Mr William Banda, a senior member of the ruling party, made against Ms. Kateka.
Meanwhile, Non-Governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) Executive Director Annie Mbewe Anamela said the council has noted with sadness and dismay the sexist comments made by the United Party for National Development (UPND) Special Advisor to President Hakainde Hichilema.
“We have noted with sadness and dismay the sexist comments made by the United Party for National Development (UPND), Special Advisor to President Hakainde Hichilema, Mr. William Banda targeted at New Heritage Party, leader Ms, Chishala Kateka over her protest in a video that has gone viral on various social media platforms. Mr. Banda’s reaction or rather comments against Ms Kateka are not only sexist but are also well calculated to curtail the opposition leader’s constitutionally guaranteed and inherent right to freedom of expression.”
“As the women’s movement, we condemn in the strongest terms the bullying by Mr. Banda and other online users against Ms. Kateka. Cyber bullying and violence in general have been among some of the reasons that women’s participation has remained low in the political arena, As a senior member of the ruling party, we expected Mr. Banda to conduct himself in a manner that depicts the decorum of leadership,” Mrs. Anamela said.
“Mr. Banda’s retrogressive statement is provocative, demeaning, and misplaced, and without doubt aimed at intimidating not only Ms. Kateka but every female leader that aspires to express herself using lawful means. It is therefore our hope that President Hakainde Hichilema and the UPND will distance itself from those sexist sentiments by Mr. Banda. It is very important for Mr. Banda and all leaders within and outside the ruling UPND party, to realize that theirs are positions of influence that should be used to promote the realization of human rights of every individual especially women, who, for a long time have faced discrimination at the hands of patriarchal tendencies as exhibited by Mr. Banda. Furthermore, the country is grappling with cyber bullying especially against female politicians and Mr. Banda’s utterances only serve to compound the situation. This style of politics has no place in our modern society that seeks to promote democracy and the respect for human rights,” she said.
And Zambia National Men’s Network for Gender Development (ZNMNGD) has given a 48 hours ultimatum to Mr. Banda to apologise and retract the sexist remarks made against Ms. Kateka.
ZNMNGD National Coordinator Nelson Banda said Mr. Banda’s remarks are at variance with the constitution, the SADC and AU gender protocols and the progressive pronouncements that President Hakainde Hichilema has been making on gender equality and promotion of women in decision making positions.
“It is such toxic masculinity that Mr. William Banda has exhibited that discourages women from participating effectively in politics and therefore must not be condoned in modern politics. As an organization that works with men and boys for the advancement of gender equality including the participation of women in leadership and fighting all forms of gender inequalities, we are appalled by the remarks Mr. William Banda issued against Mrs. Kateka following her lone protest against the high cost of living. We believe that Mrs Kateka has a constitutional right to protest if she is aggrieved.”
“We therefore demand that Mr. William Banda apologizes and retract his remarks within 48hours in which he insinuated that Mrs. Kateka is starved sexually. We feel that Mr. William Banda’s remarks are at variance with the constitution, the SADC and AU gender protocols and the progressive pronouncements that President Hakainde Hichilema has been making on gender equality and promotion of women in decision making positions,” Mr. Banda stated.