Chairperson for the Women Parliamentary Caucus, Jessie Kabwila has saluted former cabinet minister Kaliati ‘Akweni’ Kaliati calling her a political heavyweight and commended fellow women parliamentarians for initiating various development projects aimed at improving the living standards of their communities.
Kabwila, who is Malawi’s main opposition party Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Member of Parliament said this on Wednesday after members of Parliament Women Caucus visited Kaliati’s Mulanje West Constituency as part of promoting women to win elections.
“I would like to make this clear. I am MCP in every aspect and right now I have my party flags but I would like to appeal to people of Mulanje West to vote for Akweni Patricia Kaliati because she has contributed a lot to the development of this area over years,” Kabwila said.
“Kaliati and I are political heavyweights. We are actually fullbacks of our parties that’s why men hate us.”
Kaliati is director of women in the the governing Democrtaic Progressive Party (DPP).
She commended the female MPs for working tirelessly to ensure that the communities they are serving have access to basic social amenities.
“What I have observed is that female legislators are doing exceptionally well in their constituencies as compared to male counterparts. They have a vision on how to develop their areas,” Kabwila noted.
She added the progress female legislators are making has compelled the caucus to move around the country in female held constituencies to give them the unwavering support for the 2019 elections.
“The women caucus of parliament will support all serving female legislators to retain their seats during the 2019 polls. We hope with what they have achieved, they will retain their seats,” Kabwila declared adding even aspiring women candidates will be assisted.
She also said there was no rivalry between the two as alleged saying they only differ on party issue policies but they have something in common when it comes to fighting for gender and children welfare.
“People should realise that there’s no enmity at all because we fight for a common cause.”
She also said Kaliati is a political icon and has inspired many women to weather the political storm in the male-dominated field.
Kaliati commended the former University of Malawi academic for being the champion of fighting for gender equality.
“I would like to say that there is a misconception that Dr Kabwila and I are bitter enemies. But as you can see we are together eating together fighting for our shared vision.” Kaliati said.
She described the visit by fellow female legislators to her constituency as a timely morale booster as she vies for the fifth term.
During the visit, the members of the Caucus toured Mulunguzi irrigation scheme where disease free bananas suckers are raised, school blocks at Malundu, Chimamezi and Chidziwe school primary funded by DFID and Thumbwe Bridge among others.
Pan-Civic Education Network (PACENET) Executive Director, Steve Duwa has hailed the initiative saying this would indeed help them to retain their seats in 2019 polls.