B Watson Maingo
In what the local Civil Society Organisations have described as worrisome situation, it has transpired that only three women will contest for parliamentary seats in Salima District.
Malawi News Agency (Mana) has found out that the women include Jessie Kabwira (UTM), Maurine Kamputa (independent); both contesting in Salima North West Constituency where the former is incumbent Member of Parliament, and Chrissie Chikankha who is standing on Tikonze Alliance ticket in Salima Central Constituency.
This represents a decline considering that in 2014 tripartite elections, six women contested for parliamentary seats in the district which has five constituencies.
In an interview, Executive Director for Salima Governance Network (SAGNET), Thomas Mwangupili described the situation as worrisome.
“While we are happy that we have a good number of women going for local council seats, it is not good to see only three going for the most top seats. This gives a picture that women still underrate themselves,” said Mwangupili.
District Coordinator for Women Legal Resource Centre (WOLREC), Stella Issa said the situation was regrettable as it indicates that women are still not aspiring for top positions.
Records show that Salima North West is the only constituency which ever managed to produce female MPs since 1994.
Former MP, Deliah Kankhwani (DPP) was the first female to win the constituency in 2009 followed by Kabwila who won it in 2014.