Attorney General advises against enforcing stricter Covid-19 measures

Attorney General Chikosa Silungwe has advised the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 to reverse its decision to implement public health coronavirus containment, prevention and management rules as the matter is still in court where lockdown was challenged.

Attorney General directive to Presidential Task Force
Attorney General Silungwe:  The suspension imposed by the court is still in force

On July 10, 2020, the Taskforce through Co-Chairperson John Phuka issued new restrictions to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic following continued rise of cases in he country.

Among others, the taskforce announced the suspension of entertainment gatherings, weddings and other social gatherings and imposed restrictions on religious and funeral gatherings.

But in a directive memo which Nyasa Times has posted here, Silungwe stressed that enforcement of the rules was suspended by the High Court in case number 22 of 2020.

He said: “This means that the suspension imposed by the court is still in force. Government cannot, therefore, enforce or implement the rules until the suspension is lifted.

” In view of the foregoing, you are advised to reverse your decision to implement the rules by way of Press Release since the matter is still in court.”

The Attorney General has since given an assurance that his office is handling the matter with utmost urgency it deserves considering the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country.

The Coronavirus Containment, Prevention and Management Rules were gazetted by the Minister of Health on 9th April, 2020 but were suspended by the High Court in the case of the State (on application of Esther Kathumba and others).

The injunction was filed against the President of Malawi, Minister of Health, Inspector General of Malawi Police Service, Commander of the Malawi Defence Force and the Attorney General as Judicial Review Cause Number 22 of 2020.

Silungwe has since asked Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 not hesitate to consult his office for any advice on the matter,” says Silungwe in the letter issued on Monday.

After the fresh directive that was done on Friday, July 10 all commercial banks in the country issued notices that no customer shall be allowed into banking halls if they are not wearing face masks.

Meanwhile, the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) said that it had intensified enforcement and surveillance exercises on all routes to ensure that motorists and operators are adhering to the Covid-19 preventive measures it laid down.

The Directorate further warned that it will not hesitate to revoke licences of any operator and driver who will not adhere to the guidelines and restrictions.

The measures include restriction on carrying capacity for the public service vehicles (buses, minibuses and taxis) that they should be reduced reduced to 60% seating capacity whilst observing social distance.

All tricycle shall only carry the rider and one passenger; goods vehicles shall only carry the driver and one passenger in front seat and pedal cycle and motor cycle should maintain carrying only one passenger.

No standing passengers allowed on any public service vehicle and that and public service vehicles should have slide opening windows and those without should have a functional ventilation system.

All public service vehicles are required to disinfect before commencement of every trip and all crew and passengers must put on protective face masks that will cover the nose and mouth

All passengers must wash hands with soap or use hand sanitizers before entering a bus or minibus. The Directorate also bans touting (call boys) for passenger service vehicles.

Animals are not allowed to be carried on public service vehicles and all goods vehicles are not allowed to carry passengers.

Cross-border passenger travel still remains suspended and all passengers in private vehicles should sit next to windows with no passenger sitting in the middle.

The directorate further says all private vehicle occupants should wear face masks.

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Nyusesi
7 months ago

Aboma kuyalutsana okhaokha. Kkk Chakwera drama group directed by none other than the mad boy manganya.

Sizzler
Sizzler
7 months ago

No wonder Sulungwe knows these judges very well since they were the ones behing Ant DPP and all its ideas of trying to protect Malawians from COVID.19….
How does it sounds if the lockdown is now implemented by CHAKWERA/CHILIMA TEAM …
History will vindicate
who is real to Malawians societies
POLITISIANS or JUDICIAL 😆😆😆

Otayo
Otayo
7 months ago

The injunction can easily be lifted. Now the onus is on Tonse Alliance to put in place all the necessities which they were asking DPP government to implement before lockdown can take place. You can not lift injunction on the cheap. 1. Give citizens of Malawi money to mitigate their loss of income during lockdown 2. Support Businesses with finance so that they should not collapse due to covid 19. 3. It was easy to challenge lockdown when you were in opposition now you seem to be very shrewd and you Want to lift the injunction through the back door.… Read more »

Shonai
7 months ago

Burocracy on emergency?????? Mapepala mukutukumuka nawowa muthetsa anthu.Tell all the officials including every body else to forget all measures .Do not worry to see doners withdrawing covid aid .

Bwana Wa Ulesi
Bwana Wa Ulesi
7 months ago

Kwathu Tiliko anthu 5 Ndipo tinagula galimoto imene timakwanilamo tonse 5 seater nde tizikanika kukwera tonse cuz of your stupid measures? Anzanutu anasisa mafuta mene amati awiri pa mpanda inu sisani enafe tizikwera public TPT

Pumbwa
Pumbwa
7 months ago
Reply to  Bwana Wa Ulesi

Mafuta anatsika at global level osati DPP inatsitsa mafuta

CHILIMA-COVIDIOT
CHILIMA-COVIDIOT
7 months ago

Manyi kunena za paMalawi.
Mwauze anthu asamakwele galimoto zonyamula anthu zokhala ndi panel number ya black and yellow.
Anthu amenewa sadula msonkho onyamulila anthu
Pofunika kuwazindikilitsanso za usabwino wake

Big Mbuzi
Big Mbuzi
7 months ago

Mr. AG, you may be right legally, but you are wrong morally in what is a pandemic emergency……Malawians are dying!

Mangochi Kabwafu
Mangochi Kabwafu
7 months ago
Reply to  Big Mbuzi

He deals with law and not morals unfortunately.

Acapulco
Acapulco
7 months ago

The latest nonsense from mcp government. Malawi is not only the poorest country but also the most careless in the world.

DANIELphiri
DANIELphiri
7 months ago
Reply to  Acapulco

dpp failed elections miserably.Amudyera ndalama Peter zomwe ndizakuba

William Chirwa
7 months ago

Goodafbive from the AG but am wondering if these task forces don’t have lawyers within their setup to avoid such confusion which tends to paint a bad image out there. Try to liase with other organs before realesing such notices mind you you aren’t strangers to what the AG has pointed out. Phpma bwanj

Let
Let
7 months ago

Msampha omwe umamutcherera mzako wagweramo wekha. Malawians dying because of politics

Mangochi Kabwafu
Mangochi Kabwafu
7 months ago
Reply to  Let

They’re dying in South Africa and elsewhere despite lockdowns.

Lumbani
Lumbani
7 months ago

Easy for you in America to say.

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