Few hours after Malawi reported its highest in confirmed coronavirus cases. Huge political rallies were held over the weekend that completely defied social distancing and wearing of masks which defies the Covid-19 prevention measures.
Malawi is set to hold a fresh presidential vote after last May’s re-election of President Peter Mutharika was nullified by the country’s Constitutional Court.
It was reported that the opposition candidate Lazarus Chakwera, who formed an alliance of nine parties, held a huge campaign rally in the northern city of Mzuzu on Sunday.
President Mutharika’s running mate, Atupele Muluzi, was also reported to have addressed a huge gathering of his own on the same day in Lilongwe, the capital.
The rallies were said to have taken place a day after Health Minister Jappie Mhango confirmed 13 more coronavirus cases, with five of the cases detected among health workers. The country has recorded 57 cases and three deaths so far.
It was also made known that the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has advised political parties to seek new ways of campaigning because of the raging pandemic, but neither of the two sides has seemed to heed the call.
The early set plans for a lockdown in Malawi which was due to begin on Saturday have been terminated at the last minute, after a court injuction ordered it be delayed by at least seven days, lawyers say.
The news come as a relief to traders who had protested against the lockdown because of the serious threat they say it poses to their livelihoods.
The court challenge was brought against the government by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition, whose lawyer stated that both sides will present their cases at the High Court next Friday. Until then the lockdo