Malawi Broadcasting Corporation's (MBC) boss Chimwemwe Banda is under fire for her 'ugly' comments toward her junior.
Banda has been criticised on social networks for insulting Marie Segula whom she described as 'ugly'.
Meanwhile, Women in Law in Southern Africa (WLSA-Malawi) Executive Director Seodi White has condemned Banda for the unfortunate remarks, arguing she has not only undermined God's creation but also failed to lead by example to respect the rights of women, her junior staff in particular, in the country.
Media reports indicate that Banda, who is the Director of News and Programmes at MBC, affronted Segula when she was selected by officials from the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) to co-host the 6th Comesa First Ladies' meeting held in Lilongwe on October 22, 2011 at Cresta Hotel.
Banda is quoted to have said: "Kodi inu simumamva bwanji? Ndinakuuzani kuti TV is about showbiz, sitimangotenga munthu aliyense, why didn't you ask me first? Some of these ugly faces you are picking are not for such functions."
But despite Banda's remarks, Segula hosted the function with the powers from the OPC.
While confirming the incident and her job switch to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in an interview with The Weekend Times, Segula refused to say more on the matter.
"You know what, I still feel the pain because the incident is very demoralising. So, I am not talking to journalists over it, please leave it like that," said Segula.
But commenting on the matter, White described MBC as one of the country's biggest institutions that employs people based on merit and she never expected it would subject its workers to torture.
"If what Banda did is really true, then there must be something wrong with the system at MBC because I understand that it employs people based on merit. So, to call one of its employees 'ugly' is intolerable.
"In this case, Marie has been injured and this is very discouraging to aspiring presenters especially girls because they will not have the confidence to take up the challenge," said White.
She added that any kind of harassment at the workplace creates a bad working environment to its employees especially when superiors are in the forefront.
White described Segula as a shining example of God's magnificent work and MBC's gifted presenters.
"We were all created in the image of God. So, to call someone 'ugly', surely is despising His creation," said White.
Banda's action has also not gone down well with some quarters including MBC staff who was living in fear.
Social media networks were awash with angry, with people calling for Banda's apology or resignation from the state-controlled media house.
"Banda had demonstrated a bad example of a leader at MBC. But, I mean why did MBC employ Marie in first place if at all she was not a material for TV? Didn't human resources manager spot Marie's looks before offering her a job? Why subjecting her to such a torture now? No way, Banda must be joking. She thinks MBC is her personal property but it is high time she packs and go," wrote Robert Mchewa Weni-Weni Dekha on Facebook.
Another facebook user, Godfrey Maotcha, wrote: "Amaona ngati kuyela khungu ndi kukongola akunamatu. Beauty ndi software mayi Nabanda. Cowards hate geniuses' and u wont b there 4 eva. Muzakumana ndi Mary pa mtengo Wa Kachere."
Arnie wrote: "I don't agree calling someone ugly it is a cheap remark at the same time we should always value each other in our work but I have also to admit that there are other jobs you need really a cream on a TV, just look around the TV lady- presenters around the world, how do they look like?"
However, some comments were too explicit that even The Weekend Times could not publish.
Efforts were made to talk to Banda on Thursday but her secretary, Memory Khanya, said she was not in office. When tried on several occasions, Banda's mobile phone went unanswered.