By Chimwemwe Mwanza
Our propensity to weaponise and politicise even the most miniscule of issues is legendary. Just how videos of a supposed high value female in nudes has captivated national discourse to the extent that some have labeled this a constitutional crisis baffles the mind.
Whatever the motive in leaking this video, its distributors have achieved a key outcome – which is to impugn and cast aspersions on the character of the actress in the salacious production. By extention, Mary Chirwa’s credibility as the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) head honcho, is in tatters and so is her suitability to lead the new government’s anti-graft crusade. In short, she is damaged goods.
No mincing words here, the inference herein is that DEC which is at the center of prosecuting several financial crimes allegedly committed by the previous dispensation is led by a sex charity and morally compromised individual. The gauntlet thrown at her to refute the allegation that she is the actress and producer of the video further lends credence to a much bigger sinister plot in play.
Chirwa has ignored this bait and instead opted to stay silent but silence is also an answer – though not a reassuring one when it comes to sex. She is either the starring in the video or not, can’t have it both ways. What are her options then? Does she hunker down and wait for the storm to subside or should she continue to hide under the pretext that people will eventually come to accept that this is a doctored video?
Whatever her choice, she is in a pickle and has little choice but to nip this speculation in the bud. At best she needs to show contrition and apologise for this poor error in judgement. It is not as though its murder she has committed but is entwined in a crime of passion. On reflection, US tele-vangelist, Jimmy Swaggart’s fall from grace reminds us that humans are fallible and Isaiah 53 verse 6 further reinforces this view. It reads: “All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us turning our own separate ways; and the lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Encouragingly, she has the Presidency in her corner – critical for her support and rehabilitation. More commendable, the President has shown leadership by dismissing this as a sideshow aimed at distracting the serious works of the DEC. After all, don’t we all agree that sex is pleasurable – a fantasy which we all enjoy. Except that this one somewhat escaped the confines of privacy, aren’t such visuals intended to stimulate by stirring our minds into overdrive?
Patriarchy rearing its head
Unsurprising but disappointingly so, it is concerning that it is the male species that is leading the mob to lynch Chirwa at the altar of political expediency. And herein lies a challenge, such ingrained patriarchal tendencies pose the biggest threat to achieving gender parity in the work place, advancing female career development and in the process inhibiting socio-economic development.
The anguish extended to Chirwa is largely the product of a structured but flawed moral construct that suggests that men’s mistakes have less moral impact on society compared to mistakes committed by women. Put simply, men have set up a moral code and standard to which women ought to subscribe to hence arguments like ‘ubuchende bwamwaume tabu toba in’ganda kano ubwamwanakashi.’ This is what is at play here.
Even more embarrassing is the utterance by Godfridah Sumaili – the former Minister for Religious Affairs calling for the person in the video to be prosecuted. Sumaili knows too very well who the actress in the video is and for her, she is aiming a cheap political shot at the current government through a crudely stitched innuendo. The inference here being ‘Moneni sure abaleteka ichalo.’ Put differently, would the former Minister have reacted in this manner – say if this video was created by someone close to her?
This is extremely troubling coming from a Reverend who spent a sizeable tenure of her stint in office laying fertile grounds for politicization of the church. It is during her tenure that we saw the emergence of Christian groups openly siding with political parties. This the person that today is parading herself as a high priestess of moral correctness. So much for forgiveness. Even then, you have to forgive Sumaili for such bigotry, Chirwa is such a stunner.
Brick by brick, we need to consciously start dismantling the centuries old foundations of sexism laid by ancient Greek philosophers, Aristotle, Plato and Hippocrates among others and premised on the notion that the male is superior by nature and the female considered inferior is created to serve man. Whatever this means, tuli mu 2022 mwebantu.
The author is an avid reader of political history and philosophy. He is currently exploring options of launching a patented bi-monthly column aimed at further enhancing our political, economic, and social discourse. He only supports Liverpool naba Kabwe Warriors, chapwa. For feedback contact him on [email protected]