Jessie Kabwira
Kabwira presenting female lawmakers calendar

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-An Ethiopian think tank body, International Ideas (II) of Addis Ababa has awarded Malawi Congress Party (MCP)’s Spokesperson, Dr. Jessie Kabwira with gold medal for what they claim as standing tall in the midst of political persecution.

The development comes as welcome news to the politician after a difficult year which saw her car petrol bombed by unknown assailants, answering to a treason charge and being sidelined from her party’s activities for her support of regional Chairpersons who questioned the leadership style of Lazarus Chakwera.

In an exclusive interview with The Maravi Post on Wednesday upon arrival from the two-day conference on “Dialogue on political parties financing” that was slated for August 15-16 in Windhoek, Namibia, Kabwira expressed gratitude for the award dedicating it to poor Malawian women whom she said was her source of strength.

The conference’ Silver and bronze awards which went to other countries bordered on recognizing potential individuals for their practical concept notes that accommodate the poor people’s needs.

MCP’s spokesperson who is a Member of Parliament (MP) for Salima North West Constituency won the award after her concept note titled; “Why financing controversy female men of Africa in Politics?” emerged as outstanding amongst all representatives from Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)’s states who also showcased their presentations in the conference.

Her presentation weaved in her own experiences and contrasted leadership styles between men and women in politics.

Jessie Kabwira who also both chairs SADC and Malawi Parliamentary Women said the award has revived her faith for standing for the truth particularly for poor women rights in the villages.

MP Kabwira emphasized the need for political parties in SADC region including Malawi to raise the profile of female politicians in their roles as leaders with sufficient financial support for their political growth.

The Salima North-West lawmaker hinted that there should be accountability and transparency on finances political parties they get from Parliament with the call to cater all members including deemed to be in bad books with the leadership.

“The award comes when some quarter of the society rebels me as a troublesome. They have even shattered their eyes to listen what am fighting for. While all this is happening in home land, others outside the country appreciate the role I’m doing to the poor women which I stand for.

“It high time Malawi’s political pathway could change accommodating those seem not to be hand clappers to the leadership. Political parties should start embracing dissenting views in all their structures.

“Political financing should cater to all members in that party without looking at their political muscle and status in the society because once aren’t supported will politically shrink,” said Kabwira.

On female legislators retain ship, Dr. Kabwira calls upon Malawi Parliament to adopt Zebra list of voting which has proven to be working in other SADC countries including Namibia.

She said Zebra listing on Parliamentary voting pairs two candidate; male and female in an election whose results brings 50:50 representation of lawmakers in Parliament.

“Our friends in Namibia have adopted Zebra listing which you pair a female with male candidate in an election that outcomes of it must bring balanced representation in Parliament. This will be another milestone for female lawmakers retain ship manifestation if adopted in Malawi.

“But to set a pace for the country, I presented Malawi’s Parliamentary Women Caucus calendar that features all 32 female lawmakers to raise their political profiles. This attracted international attention as Malawi emerged as sole SADC country to have such a calendar,” delighted Kabwira.