Malawian vendors demonstrate against lockdown measures

Some Malawian vendors in the Northern city of Mzuzu in the morning of Wednesday April 16 took to the streets in disagreement to new lockdown measures announced by President Peter Mutharika yesterday.

President Mutharika announced 21 days lockdown measures yesterday to further Control the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

However, there has been an outcry from vendors as well as citizens saying the lockdown will impinge on the already poor Malawians as they cannot afford to stay at home instead to fetch for food for their families.

Most Malawians in the community live in less than a dollar a day and relies on small scale business for daily survival.

Among others, the lockdown has ordered closure of some markets, reduced time of sell for local markets, restricted movement among others.

However, today vendors in the city of Mzuzu have demonstrated against the move saying there could be more politics than just measures in the lockdown.

During an interview with focus on Africa program yesterday on Malawi’s decision to announce lockdown measures despite registering only 16 cases of coronavirus; Minister of Information Communications Technology Michael Botomani surprised Malawians when he said it was not a lockdown but rather strict restriction measures.

Meanwhile the Human Rights Defenders Coalition ( HRDC) have dragged The Malawi President and Health Minister to court claiming that the lockdown is illegal and runs counter to promotion and protection of Human Rights, particularly the right to food and economic activities.

The coalition’s Chairperson Gift Trapence, during a press briefing in the capital city of Lilongwe said it was not justifiable to use lockdown measures without putting down measures to support the underprivileged households with food supplies for the period of 21 days.

Malawi is currently scheduled to conduct fresh Presidential elections on 2 July 2020.

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