By Draxon Maloya
Barely some few hours after the presidential declaration of a twenty-one (21) day lockdown aimed at containing the further spreading of coronavirus which causes the deadly Covid19 people in various towns and district took to the street to demonstrate their disagreement with the move.
Mangochi District and Mzuzu City were centres of attraction looking at the sizes of the crowd that took to the street chanting on songs which clearly demonstrate displeasure on the part of the citizenry, mainly those low income earners.
In a random interview, many demonstrators says closing businesses spells doom for them looking at 21 days without economic activities at main markets in major urban centres.
“How shall we survive this considering that we depend on piece works which only fend for what we eat on that particular day, this lockdown is aimed at killing us who have nothing tangible here in town. Let Mutharika should just come out and kill us with his soldiers. How serious is Covid19 here,” one demonstrator said.
Commenting on the issue Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) executive member McDonald Sembereka says the demonstrations in Mangochi and Mzuzu against the lockdown are a clear indication that Malawians don’t have the capacity to last them for a 21 day lockdown.
“Let government revisit the decision. If it doesn’t, we will do what we have been doing” ‘ Sembereka says.
Another executive member Billy Mayaya says government is using the Covid-19 pandemic to delay the fresh election. He says HRDC will mobilise Malawians to demand their right to vote.
HRDC leaders have since warned that vigils will be held in all councils if government will not suspend the order.
Meanwhile, Blantyre City Council is cashing in on traders permits for those who wants to be doing business during the 21 day lockdown.
The council is demanding Mk10 000 from traders to get the permit.
The demonstrators who took to the street on Thursday among others are demanding from government, food, reduced water and electricity bills and payment of rentals to their landlords.
Covid-19 has so far killed a total of 17 000 people across the African continent with Malawi registering two deaths.
On MEC suspension of electoral processes, HRDC says the electoral body has no power to suspend the process. They say Malawians have the right to vote, therefore, Covid-19 should not be a ground for suspending the electoral processes