Justice Minister trashes Chakwera’s state of emergency call:  APM visits Malawi flood survivors in ‘appropriate dressing’

Malawi Justice Minister Samuel Tembenu has clarified why President Peter Mutharika declared a state of national disaster and not “ state of emergency” due to deadly floods, saying the law empowers the Head of State to declare disaster as  a “prompt and immediate reaction” with less procedural formally as opposed to ‘state of emergency’ whose duration may also be limited.

Tembenu:  State of emergency curtails people's rights

Tembenu: State of emergency curtails people’s rights

Chakwera:  Chakwera: Wanted state of emergency not state of disaster

 Chakwera: Wanted state of emergency not state of disaster

President Mutharika and First Lady assuring flood victims that his government would spare no effort to help them.

President Mutharika and First Lady assuring flood victims that his government would spare no effort to help them.

President Mutharika greets a chief during his tour of flood ravaged lower shire

President Mutharika greets a chief during his tour of flood ravaged lower shire

Tembenu was clarifying after Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarous Chakwera, who is also opposition leader in parliament, called on President Mutharika to declare a state of emergency.

“A declaration of a state of national disaster paves the way to access funds from the National Disaster Preparedness and Relief Fund. It also unlocks voluntary donations and contributions from foreign governments and other international agencies,” explained Tembenu in a statement made available to Nyasa Times on Wednesday evening.

Tens of thousands of people in the southern region of Malawi have been cut off by the deadly floods, leaving them without food, clean water or access to health care, while many others have been displaced. Death toll has reached 200.

Implications

Justice Minister said the current catastrophe can be dealt within the legal framework of state of national disaster “without having recourse to the drastic measures brought about by the declaration of state of emergency.”

Tembenu said Chakwera and others calling for declaration of state of emergency may perhaps not be fully aware of the implications.

“A state of emergency results in the curtailment of people’s rights, restrictions on liberty and other rights as well as imposition of curfew,” Justice Minister informed.

He also pointed out that parliamentary involvement is also mandatory before such declaration is made and that state of emergency has a life span of 21 days unless extended by parliament after a two thirds majority voting for it.

“There is no need for declaration of state of emergency,” Justice Minister dismissed opposition chief point blank.

Presidential-visit

Meanwhile, President Peter Mutharika is continuing visiting floods survivors which took him Nsanje and Chikwawa on Wednesday.

After public criticism – mostly on social media- for dressing in suit and tie when he visited disaster stricken areas around Makawa in Mangochi and Ulongwe in Balaka last week, Mutharika was in shirt only, and looked relaxed in the lower shire visit.

Mutharika’s choice of wardrobe when he first visited flood victims in Mangochi drew a firestorm of critics and was described as “disrespectful.” The Malawi leader was however hailed after his “appropriate” dressing during lower shire tour.

He assured flood victims that government is doing everything possible to ease their pain and help their lives return to normal.

Mutharika has maintained his warning against aid abuse and said he wants relief aid to go to “intended beneficiaries.”

The Malawi leader has also warned corrupt government officials and aid workers not to divert the aid.

Malawi needs over K5 billion (about $10m) to rehabilitate and provide relief to the victims of floods and hailstorms that have wreaked havoc in the country.

According to Information Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa, the  UN had moved in to provide experts and aircraft to help deal with the challenges that had overwhelmed the local authorities.

UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo said WFP, the UNFPA, the FAO and the UNDP – along with other UN agencies – were also helping the relief effort.

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che bint
Guest

kumbukani?? U ont to educate o ov us here oppozing,wanzeru iweyo eti? go ye wth ur legal knowledge

sisman
Guest

chonsecho chizungucho si chakwa amanuyi!! Government does not want to declare a state of emergency as awona kuti zavuta kale therefore they do not want to accept responsibility or part blame for what is going on in our country!! we all know this.. It is silly for tembenu to deny the fact that malawi is not in a state of emergency, chizungu achitaye atithandize za dziko lathuli ndi mmene tavutikila ndi madzi!!! Asah!

Mccarthy
Guest

Amalawi ndi anthu Omvetsa Chisoni kwambiri, their is nothing wrong with Chakwera, indeed it is state of emergency, Soon or later” will declare floodgate, amalawi Chitulo, Malawian doesn’t like to hear the truth, that’s why most of times the clap their hands for fools.

Kumbukani
Guest
Reading the numerous comments on the above article, one is left with the impression that most of those commenting against the state of emergency are either ignorant of the constitutional provisions of the state of emergency in regard to disasters or deliberately choose to tow a political line of thinking without giving any considerations to the merits of the state of emergency during disasters. It is also clear that some authorities are peddling lies that a state of emergency would require all members of parliament to sit to approve it. Malawi Constitution Section 45 (2) (b) reads: “The President may… Read more »
KUNGOTI
Guest

The borne of the matter here is Chakwera rashes without consulting may be he only consult Kabwira, which in the end just cartoonise him and the emusipi. Munthu ikakhala si mbali yako, funsa anthu oyenera osanatsekura kamwa yako kuti yasaaa! Why are mbuli zambiri deffending him I dont know surely, muzimutsutsako munthuyu, kumeneko ndiye kunkoza, osamangozolowera kuyimba mmanja, MUTAKAMBIRANE KUNEKO IFE KUNO TIDZAGWIZANA NAZO, stupid pipo.

FORCHAKWERAASPRESIDENTOFMALAWI
Guest
FORCHAKWERAASPRESIDENTOFMALAWI

Shut up Mr Tembenu, Malawi is definitely in a state of emergency especially here in Blantyre with the water shortage problems and the fact that there is no water. This is a state of emergency if the wealthy people are even finding it hard to get water supply, hospitals and school are shutting down and asking students to go back home!!! So please look into the problem first, don’t just talk rubbish here!!

alukosyo
Guest

The heading of the story should hv been Justice Minister clarifies state of emergency call.

Masoapatali
Guest

The state of emergency would give government powers to take full control of the situation. Ndi izi tikuwona anthu kukana kupangidwa evacuate. Chakwera was right

Malawi wa Lero
Guest

APM ndi nkazache anayamba kuyendera anthu obvutika ndimadzi atamva kuti ndalama zayamba kubwera kuchokera kunja.

Malawi wa Lero
Guest

Kodi ndichifukwa chiyanim law amayigora kwambiri kuno ku Malawi. Kunjakutu ndi kosi imene mbuli zinazi zimatenga zikalephera makosi ena. Ma loya ambiri anaphunzira ya korespondensi. Bingu ataphunzi yamachuwa ku India Kamuzu atamutolako. Wachoka ku Malawi anatenga achabale ake kunamiza azungu amvere ndi ma refyujizi.

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