Court Stops Lockdown In Malawi

By Wongani Chiuta

High Court Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda who was recently accused by Malawi government of undermining coronavirus efforts has on Friday granted Human rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) an injunction against pending 21-day lockdown.

HRDC Chairperson Gift Trapence has confirmed to Nyasa Times that the judge has also ordered an inter-party hearing within seven days for judicial review.

The rights coalition went to court order to stop the government from implementing the lockdown based on the government’s failure to announce any measures to cushion the poor during the lockdown.

Malawi is one of the poorest countries on the continent where more than half of the population live below the poverty threshold.

And there have been protests throughout Malawi by informal traders against the lockdown.

President Peter Mutharika has announced a 21-day lockdown starting on Sunday to contain the spread of the new coronavirus which has killed two people in the country.

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Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology Mark Botomani is on record accusing Judge Nyirenda of lacking patriotism.

He said Judge Nyirenda is pulling in the opposite direction and can make Malawi “a weak link in global efforts to fight COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, Minister of Health Jappie Mhango has announced one more COVID-19 positive case bringing the number of virus pandemic cases to 17.

The patient is a 70-year old man from Blantyre.

Mhango made the announcement at a news conference in Lilongwe on Friday.

 The minister also disclosed that three people from Lilongwe who earlier tested positive for COVID-19 have now tested negative. A second test will again be conducted on Saturday.
Source: Nyasa Times

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