Former State House Aide currently leading Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has given President Peter Mutharika a 48 hours ultimatum to tell Malawians how they are going to get their rations while staying at home before the lockdown takes effect.
In a statement released on 15 April signed by CDEDI acting Chief Executive officer Slyvester Namiwa has issued a warning that the organization shall mobilize people to gather at district commissioners offices across the country.
Reads the statement in part
“Should our call land on deaf ears, CDEDI will mobilize poor Malawians whose source of income cannot sustain them for the next 21 days to gather at the district commissioner’s office in their respective districts and city councils to pressurize government to act on their plight”
The statement further says 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 or an attempt to frustrate the electoral process currently underway” it reads
The statement further says the organization is appealing to Mutharika to immediately rescind his decisionon the lockdown pending proper consultations with relevant stakeholders or else Malawians will disobey the lockdown.
“On the other hand, government should come out clearly on how it is going to cushion Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) and indeed the private sector that would be paying their employees during the lockdown period.
“Failure to do so, CDEDI believes Malawi will lose millions of lives as opposed to the highly publicized 50 deaths that ought to be prevented by the lockdown”reads the statement.
President Mutharika ordered alock down in an effort to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
Currently the country has registered 16 confirmed cases and two deaths