HRDC drags Malawi leader, Health minister to court: Claims lockdown is ‘illegal’

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has dragged President Peter Mutharika and his Minister of Health, Jappie Mhango, to court challenging government decree  on  coronavirus lockdown as illegal.

HRDC acting chairperson Gift Trapence stressing a point during  a news conference in Lilongwe. -Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times
HRDC members addressing a news conference in Lilongwe. -Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

The coalition argues that the lockdown is illegal and runs counter to the protection and promotion of human rights, particularly right to food, right to economic activities and political rights.

The HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence told journalists in Lilongwe that the coalition is doing everything within its means, including dragging authorities at the Capital Hill to court, for declaring an ‘illegal’ lockdown’ without putting in place measures to support underprivileged households with food supplies for the next 21 days.

Trapence challenged that the lockdown President Mutharika declared on Tuesday night does not have legal backing thereby making it illegal.

He alleged that the lockdown is a deliberate ploy by Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to dodge fresh presidential election slated for July 2, 2020.

“We are not relenting on fighting for the rights of Malawians and I would like to assure everyone that HRDC will do anything possible to protect the interests of Malawians, particularly during this difficult time. We believe that this lockdown will violate the rights of Malawians in so many ways,” he said.

Trapence therefore demanded that government should suspend the lockdown and invite stakeholders to a meeting where the right approach to take to prevent further spread of Covid-19 can be mooted.

“Of course, we know that Mutharika does not listen. But we want to warn him that his decision will lead to huge suffering among Malawians. He has no choice, but to listen the voice of reason now. Otherwise, we will meet in the courts,” he said.

Another HRDC executive member, Reverend MacDonald Sembereka, alleged that the coalition is aware that the DPP-led government hatched the idea of nationwide lockdown to justify plunder of US$373,000, which the Global Fund has given Malawi for COVID-19 response.

“But we will not allow that to happen. We are watching every step you are staking on that money,” warned Sembereka.

Under the  country’s  lockdown lasting from April 18 until May 9, all non-essential businesses and services would cease.

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corona is real
10 months ago

A trapence right to life and food tsopano mwaidziwa eti? Why were you violently demonstrating forcing people to close businesses and smashing shops while taking the same life you’re claiming you’re defending? Akuluakulu corona sizibwana ikayamba kusosola sikumasewera. The government has put measures like all the small markets will be operational from 6am to 2pm and i don’t think people can fell to survive here. Corona sinkhammbakamwa inu simungadabwe madotolo anthu aja ankaphangira college of medicine pano ali pasit in kumuopa kamunayu, angoti ichi anena icho anena. Nthendayi yadzidzimutsa angakhale ku uk anthu akugwira ntchito koma protective gear njochepa, ku… Read more »

Jobe
Jobe
10 months ago

‘JACK’ The same WHO is saying you can not send people on lockdown if you do not make food provisions for them, especially poor countries in Africa. Which WHO are you talking about? Follow news. he news you read yesterday is updated every other minute. Lockdown was there weeks ago but now there is a change in approach.
You may be affluent but think about your mother, grandparents, members of your extended family at home etc. Be in their shoes. If you fear God, that is if you are a believer, you know that something is not right.

Khima
Khima
10 months ago

Anti-establishment

garrson mwale
10 months ago

The things is complicated, the Court now is working with Opposition and plan to defeat DPP. The court is intervene the politics now, obviously. no doult!

Kandulu
Kandulu
10 months ago

I can see hell breaking loose in Malawi. APM needs to be careful here. More than a million people can match directly to his house and send him to his maker. I don’t think the army and police will kill a million people as that will be genocide. Looting and chaos has already started in RSA and soon Cyril could face ICC in Hague.

che nnungu
10 months ago

Ine agalu a DPP amandinyansa koopsya. Thats why I dont wish them well. Jappie ndi gogo wakoyo olo mutafa we dont care

Naruto
10 months ago
Reply to  che nnungu

Muziopa mulungu. Okufasadziwika. Mwina nanu muzakalamba kapena mutisiya chapotsachedwa. Nkhani ndikuwopa Mulungu basi. Osamalora kutha mawu kungonjera mwasatana. Tsiku limodzi kumwamba Kumayitana

Mask
Mask
10 months ago

Who will survive the 21days in the house with no food. Sitikukana mnyumba Koma ndondomeko zake nzotani, mukulandila ma billion in the name of corona inu a DPP. Ku South Africa boma linati anthu akhale mnyumba Koma akuwapatsa ma package gloceries ufa achina sopo mafuta ophikila mchere sugar Kuti asafe ndi corona komanso njala uku ndiye kusamala kwenikweni inu munangoti lowani mnyumba osayika ndondomeko this is what hrdc is driving you to court mukaliudze dziko. People have the right to be protected from corona komanso njala.

Nasingwe
Nasingwe
10 months ago
Reply to  Mask

iwo acita kale stockpile zakudya mmanyumbamu. ma bwana saaha ndi njala

Ndede
Ndede
10 months ago
Reply to  Nasingwe

The problem with some educated Malawians ndi kusamva… govt has not prohibited marketing in our localities…. where we get food. Supermarkets will operate.. people will be going to maize mills and travel to hospitals… where is death due to hunger question coming from…Mwanva koma inu? Osamatichitisa manyazi.

No mercy
No mercy
10 months ago

Protecting people dying from non existing corona virus the same time promoting people dying from hunger, what kind of stupid decision is this, come on Peter be realistic but I just want to remind you one thing, at this point in time all those ignorant southerners you fooled are loosing hope in you, just wait and see

Nasingwe
Nasingwe
10 months ago
Reply to  No mercy

ssy it again

Raza lush
10 months ago
Reply to  No mercy

They loosing hope, but they can not make a mistake

Naruto
10 months ago

This idiot thinks he is immune to corona virus, that somehow the disease cannot touch him. Zilibe kukhwima izi. In the end it could mtambo who dies from this while Apm is still standing.

CADET NO. 1
10 months ago

Kuthawa ma vote che Nalikukuti !
Kikikiki
kikikiki

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