Catholic bishops disappointed with Malawi ‘partial’ lockdown: Not consulted

Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) has expressed disappointment over the manner the new restrictions to limit the alarming spread of coronavirus, three months after a court blocked the government from imposing a full lockdown,  were announced, saying they were not consulted.

Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda speaks during the News Conference on COVID-19 New Rules and Regulations at BICC-pic by Lisa Kadango

Malawi closed down bars and churches on Sunday  and Attorney General Chikosa Silungwe unveiled newly-gazetted measures to curb the spread of the contagions  that included the mandatory wearing of face masks.

Bars will only be allowed to sell alcohol as take-out and no groups of more than 10 people are allowed except for funerals with a maximum of 50 people.

The Attorney General said an “army of enforcement officers” had been hired to ensure the regulations were followed.

But in a statement  issued on Sunday, the Catholic bishops however, urged their members to strictly adhre to the health and pastoral guidelines to prevent Covid-19 spread including regular handwashing, social distancing and using face masks.

Reads the statement in part: “ We believe we still have a role to play in this regard. However,  since we are law abiding, we the Ctaholic Bishops instruct all the clergy, the religious and laity to suspend forthwith all public church gathering until further notice.

“In the meantime, we shall engage government to see our true role in preventing the further spread of Covid-19.”

Governance commentator Makhumbo Munthali told Nyasa Times that “it’s unfortunate” that the Tonse Alliance led government seems to continue from where the former president Peter Mutharika stopped.

“Lack of consultations with key stakeholders in the ubluc policy making process such as the afith community seesm to continue being a problem  for those who ascend to the Presidency in Malawi,” he said,

Munthali added: “There was no way such umbrella mother bodies would be ignored in the consultatation process – that is if there were any.”

He said Tonse government makes sure that it takes on board all key stakeholders before it makes any critical decisions not only on Covid-19.

“These are basic public policy making dos and don’ts,” he pointed out.

According to Information Minister, Gospel Kazako, the numbers of Covid-19 cases “are rising at an alarming rate.”

Experts had sounded the alarm about the virus  pandemic as far back as May while the country focused on election campaigns that attracted ten of thousands of rallies in the absence of a lockdown.

Malawi has nearly doubled the number of confirmed virus cases over the past four weeks with the toll standing at 4,624 and the death toll standing at 143 as of Saturday.

The country had not been placed under lockdown after a court in April blocked the government from enforcing a full lockdown in Malawi for failure to announce any measures to support the vulnerable.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Sharing is caring!

0 0 vote
Article Rating
50 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Edward
Edward
1 month ago

Even the Pope allowed the Vatican to close to visit or prayers. He cared for his congregation and avoid soread of the disease. I thought Catholic bishops get their example from the Pope

Mbonga Matoga
Mbonga Matoga
1 month ago
Reply to  Edward

Nkhani yavuta apa ndiya zambale kapena titi nkhani ya zopeleka….

Mandatory wearing musks is a welcome thing, and this was supposed to happen when the first case was discovered in the country ,more people would have been saved.

Thanks for doing that, Tonse alliance government.

Inunso mwatota?
1 month ago

Ma Bishop akungofuna ndalama za mmbale azikanyengera ma nurse uko. Ansembe ana ali thoo mmidzimu. Shatapu. In fact these churches must be closed indefinitely. Mwanyanya chigololo afalisi inu.

Bahat Nyirendah
Bahat Nyirendah
1 month ago

umbuzi womayamikila zithu zolakwika will take us nowhere we need to hold politicians accountable to their promises and actions
zomayimbila mmanja kuti ena azipanga zomwe akufuna pomwe aganizila ndi uchitsilu
we nneed to woke up as a nation

Che Bauleni
Che Bauleni
1 month ago

Ma bishop athu ,just call Chilima to a round table discussion ,kuti mufunse paja you overwhemingly supported this guy

Che Bauleni
Che Bauleni
1 month ago

Our Bishops just call Chilima to a round table discussion monga mkhristu wanu ,munfuse paja mumamupopa

Padeh
1 month ago

Paja mu Bible analembanso kuti mverani adindo anu kusatengera k mpingo kapena utumiki ulionse tikuyenera kutero .ndiye tisasuse zimene aboma anena coz chitetezo cha moyo wathu chilimanja mwao…HEBREW 13 V 17

Kamuzu Mbewe
Kamuzu Mbewe
1 month ago

Ma Bishop asachite kudzipopa kwambiri. kodi iwowo ndi Civic organisation? What about the Muslim Association? What about the CCAP Reverends? What about the National Council of Sports? Inu azibambo ansembe musamadziwelengere koposa mwezo wanu

Mangochi Kabwafu
Mangochi Kabwafu
1 month ago
Reply to  Kamuzu Mbewe

Ndipoo. Who are they?

Zofu
Zofu
1 month ago

AG this twice how can you suspend church gatherings?

New way of Doing Things

Our esteemed Bishops,politicians are professionals in compromise; that is their convictions are for sale-nothing else.I would call them children of darkness because in reality we have two opposing sides. Biblical:the children of light from which you and I belong;and children of darkness from which they( politicians) belong. The children of light constitute the most conspicuous part of humanity while the children of darkness represent an absolute minority.And yet the former are the object of a sort of discrimination which places them in a situation of moral inferiority with respect to their adversaries,who often hold strategic positions in govt,in politics,in economy… Read more »

Charles
Charles
1 month ago

If the Bishops were consulted, what alternatives would the bishops have offered? Very likely nothing! They should not dwell on the negatives of government action but should also be looking at what positives will come out of it. God helps those people who help themselves and praying alone without us playing a part will not help us.

Judie
Judie
1 month ago
Reply to  Charles

A Charles, inuyo ndi amene mmutu mwanu mwadzadza madzi sure. You mean government is the only one with the monopoly of wisdom and knowledge. Are you aware that these churches have health, education and socio-economic experts too? Everyone but you is questioning the practicality of restricting only 10 people to congregate in church. 10 people can not even suffice abusa/ansembe, decons and church elders. What about choir(s)? What’s the difference in allowing 50 people at a funnel? Think again.

shares
Read previous post:
Minister Mtambo orders Blantyre City Council to apologize to Muslims, Christians over the billboard

The Ministry of Civic Education and National Unity has order the Blantye City Council (BCC) to apologize to Muslims, Christians...

Close