Saturday, March 2, 2024

Beware of patriarchy – in defence of Mary Chirwa


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]


  1. There’s a Law on the production and circulation of obscene material. Figure that in your article to make it balance

    • If someone hacked my phone and finds my private images and the hacker publishes the images to the public. What crime have I committed???
      She should resign. Bally should not act like he can not find another woman at DEC to lead. It’s as if he wants Mary to use this as fuel for the fight against whoever. The fight against corruption will be sidetracked with that strategy. We do not want emotional investigators.
      Mary own up, resign, move on. It was naive of you to think no one would hack or expose the images. For someone who is head of DEC and FIC it shows poor judgement on your part. You are dealing with cyber crime, fraudsters, all sorts. As a head of an agency like DEC you’re exposed, you are the main target.

    • Who says Mary circulated, kanshi. Leave the innocent lady alone. What she did, most of you do it. Why should it be peculiar here, because she is caught? awe, let her continue doing her brilliant work

  2. A person who does this kind of thing is of poor and/or bad character. This reflects badly on the quality of governance we have endured all along.
    Please fire the harlot.

  3. By the way, I don’t know which serious anti graft fight that Mary has waged. How many cases has she before Courts and how many convictions has she secured? You can’t call those uncoordinated media tantrums as serious anti graft crusade

    • Then why do you fear her to the extent of dreaming up a smear campaign? Nje nje nje. We’ve been here before with HH is a satan-ist wala. The true satan-ist’s have been be revealed and will continue to be revealed. Relax, do not panic the time for counting the success of her cases is still coming. The “other guy” underfunded this institution for a reason. Just continue applying for asylum ku ma Canada

  4. Selective justice..what I can say here..I agree! The person at fault is the one who leaked the clip.that was also for Iris and mubuma . For Iris, all those who are on Mary’s corner now were so hard against her. The lady was demonized ,tried and fined…person who leaked and a man she was with went scout free. Why? People wanted discredit the father. Mumbuma was playing with his manhood. Same people called on ECL to dismiss him and he was. The one who leaked is free. We treated these two hushly .In this govt so far, show signs of dictatorial and selective justice…PF members are targeted…elections in southern,western and northwestern were very very unfair and everybody knows about it.yet there is silence.

  5. I always have a problem with this Chimwemwe Mwanza’s articles they are not concise always all over the place like some mental patient hallucinating he will even cite the bible in there.

    • He is a circus clown, anyone with the comprehension ability of a grade 6 child can see that he is indirectly attacking Mary Chirwa but laces his article with a title “in defence of Mary Chirwa”. My question is why do they fear Mary Chirwa so much?

  6. I always get put off when I hear or read postmodern ideological terms such as “patriarchy’.
    Postmordernism and neo marxist ideas are a scourge on human society.
    The title of the article put me off, but non the less I figured let me read. There are a few, I repeat a FEW sensible points. But overall its a shallow and incoherent piece of work.
    This gentleman needs to think more carefully and do more research before writing articles where he plans to base his argument on philosophical grounds.

  7. Rant all you want she is not going anywhere. Just another smear campaign from the team that brought is gassing, satanism and market fires. They know no limits. We have been here before. Just continue applying for asylum ku ma chalo. Next topic please

  8. It is sad that an error of judgment led to the production of the video . She probably created it to share with whoever has now released it. The sad thing is when one now looks at MC it is hard to take her seriously . Instead what is retained in the mind is what she was doing in that viral tape. Indeed when DM decided to play with himself he got into a bind…much as he wanted to fly the flag all one saw was that image of him…I do not know what explanation she has given to her appointing authority but one can only wish she does the right thing…I recall two senior offices were terminated at ECZ because a third party complained about their unhealthy relationship at the office…so what is not being said here?

  9. She hasn’t committed a crime but for someone who is fighting cyber crimes, fraudsters and other vices she should know better. We have other people who will take up the post. This will not go away. Bally start looking for replacements.

  10. Spaka, I agree. She should resign for her own good. Staying on will just confirm that she is of dubious character.

  11. Surprising how all cases in Zambia should result in dismissal, Why is there is no administrative punishment in Zambia. Why is there no verbal warning, first written warning, second written warning, suspension. etc Why should it always be dismissal or resignation. Start reading and learning administration, there is free education now, go back to school. As far as I know if it is indeed her who published for circulation, follow my discourse here , she is a first offender and the punishment should just be for a first offender. The problem is that since the opposition PF had no ideas whilst in government and now no ideas outside government, that is the only issue they can fall for.

  12. The Mary Chirwa issue is an easy one, most of you have done what she did, no issue here. We should be worrying of loosing rugby 52 zero to Fiji at the commonwealth. I am sure in Zambia with such embarrassment the minister of youth is still in office, Zambia rugby union executive is still intact, then Mary Chirwa should resign, why and how?

  13. It’s nice to know your President is on your side; what else can be more assuring! But does the President have the people on his side? The trouble of perpetually siding with badly behaved Ministers, & Government top brass – etcetera, is that, it chips away at the leader’s goodness too – resulting in – himself being seen as the problem!
    Leaders have to set good examples; especially to our impressionable young people. When bad conduct is perpetrated by those that people look up to, you’ve got to act in time and decisively, to send a clear message certain behaviour will not be tolerated in a public office.

  14. It baffles the mind that someone will spend time defending that which cannot be defended. The minister in PF Govt did the same thing or similar, the honourable thing was to fire him or urge him to resign the position. Now this stupor that some NGOs, civil society fimofimo and the so called “re-known” writers have take to only the wrong things only during the the so called “New dawn” regime is sickening. A wrong is a wrong. There is nothing political in inserting the banana into one’s private parts.

    • Pure self-indulgence at it’s worst; not political, but can lead to the collapse of political careers! A leader in the West, was recently compelled to vacate his position – mainly for not acting appropriately when matters of concern were put to him. I expect, he thought he was being loyal to his supporters & subordinates – never mind the negative impact on the people who elected him; he just carried on! And, it backfired! The people got tired of repeated shambles & the axe fell on him! Being at the top of government, comes with a lot of responsibility. You must conform to appropriate behaviour, or don’t aspire for public office.

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