Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has asked President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika to consider rescinding his decision on the 21 days lockdown.

On Tuesday night, Mutharika imposed a 21 days lockdown starting from midnight on Saturday, 18th April, 2020 to 9th May, 2020 at midnight due to Coronavirus.

“My Fellow Malawians, Today, Government has declared a 21 Day Lockdown. It will initially be effective at midnight on Saturday, 18th April, 2020 and it will end on Saturday 9th May, 2020, at midnight.

“The Minister has done so using powers vested in him under the Public Health Act. In his declaration of the lockdown, the Minister outlined specific measures that will be in force during the period of the lockdown,” said Mutharika.

In letter addressed to President Mutharika, CDEDI Acting President Sylvester Namiwa said the lockdown measure has been implemented in harry.

“While commending Mutharika for taking a leading role in trying to contain further spread of COVID-19 pandemic, CDEDI finds the lockdown which has no safety nets for the majority poor Malawians as running counter to the citizen’s right to food and life.

“Until government announces measures on how it intends to feed the poor, that includes those who live on hand to mouth, Child and female headed households and the ultra-poor then we will not hesitate to conclude that the lockdown is Mutharika’s deliberate attempt to kill Malawians with hunger,” said Namiwa.

He added: “CDEDI is also shocked to note that ever since government started implementing such measures against Corona virus the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government has avoided consultations with major stakeholders such as the Captains of the industry that drive the economy, Opposition leaders, Non Governmental organizations (NGO’s), Religious leaders, Traditional leaders and indeed the Academia, etc. This raises suspension to say but the least.

“CDEDI is therefore appealing to Mutharika to immediately rescind his decision on the lockdown pending proper consultations with relevant stakeholders.”

Namiwa has since urged government to come out clearly on how it is going to cushion Small and Medium Enterprises and indeed the private sector that would be paying their employees during the lockdown period.

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