The story about a Nsanje woman who reportedly grabbed Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Sam Ganda by the neck after being infuriated by his innuendos has taken a new twist.
The woman, Annie Khembo, is now blaming the politician of ruining her marriage of two decades by insinuating that she was his close confidante at a meeting.
In a recorded interview with The Weekend Times on Thursday Khembo said her husband, Hussein Jaffali, has since chased her out of their matrimonial home. She said the minister's remarks and the resultant crumbling of her marriage amounted to the highest degree of gender-based violence.
At a meeting held at Admarc hall at Bangula, Ganda who is also Member of Parliament for Nsanje Lalanje reportedly said Khembo was constantly keeping him abreast of development in the constituency.
This infuriated not only Khembo but her husband as well who told The Weekend Times he suspected something was going on between the MP and his wife. He threatened to divorce his wife.
"I suspect there is something going on between the two. How can she be talking to the MP on the phone and I knew nothing about it? If I discover that indeed there is something fishy going on, I will walk out," he said.
According to Khembo, Jaffali has lived up to his threats.
Said the jilted lady: "My marriage of 20 years with my beloved husband Hussein is now in tatters because of the minister's careless remarks. How can he say that I was calling him? Do I have his number? As I am talking to you now my husband has evicted me from our matrimonial home. Is the minister happy now that I am homeless? He should marry me."
She said she was living a miserable life following Ganda's action which did not go down well with her husband at home.
"Currently, I have no permanent place where I can call home because I am renting a small house. My husband had the guts to drive me out of our matrimonial home because Ganda's shameful remarks sent a wrong signal to him. But why did the minister choose to act that way? Does being powerful in society mean that you can lie against others and go scot-free because you have money?" wondered Khembo. She also alleged that Ganda on that day publicly alleged that Jaffali abuses her.
"At the meeting, Ganda did not only lie to the people that I communicate with him but he also said my husband abuses me at home. This was shameful to me because it happened in front of many people; it really violated my privacy," she said.
Khembo is meanwhile asking for assistance from well-wishers and human rights organisations to help her establish the facts about the matter.
"How can you feel to be embarrassed in front of a lot of people for the sin you did not commit? This was a total abuse of my rights and I did not expect this to come from an honourable person like him. I mean, he should have been the first person to protect women from abuse".
"Where is the women empowerment thing our politicians brag about if they are in the fore-front speaking ill of us?" she argued. She added that she is ready to challenge Ganda on a neutral platform if given the opportunity.
"The only challenge is that it's hard to reach him since he is a top government official. But does holding high position mean that you always say the right things? As a woman, where did I go wrong by pushing my curiosity on issues of development and politics in my community to deserve this punishment from an honourable person like Ganda? I am poor but I have also the right to prove my innocence if a neutral platform can be given," she challenged.
When contacted before the publication of the story Ganda denied the allegations, claiming the issue was being spread by his political enemies.
Meanwhile, after the story was published the legislator threatened to sue The Weekend Times, claiming according to his lawyers Joseph, Maxwell and Company that the article has lowered "the estimation of our client in the eyes of right thinking members of society".
But Khembo stood by her claims, challenging that she is ready to meet the minister in court.
"I am ready for anything including granting you more interviews because I even want this matter to go to court for I was insulted in presence of other people. I have even lost my husband because of him, so what is he saying? I wish I had the opportunity of meeting top human rights officials on the matter but I hope you will assist me fighting this battle" she said.