Whichever way you want to look at it, but let’s not joke about it Covid-19, a strand of coronavirus is real, it’s menacing and, please, let’s not play games with it.
We are witnessing a steady rise in the number of people testing positive every day.
But this case—of a person who jetted in the country on March 17 and our system only managed to find the person on April 12—should make all of us worried.
We should all be worried because it tells us that there are many local transmission out there.
As a country, this is the time we must stop playing games; we need to get really serious about this virus pandemic.
This is the time we shaved aside all our political, religious, social and racial difference to face the outbreak head on, on a united front.
Unfortunately, we are not getting that united front from our leaders—especially politicians and opinion leaders.
At this point, President Peter Mutharika could have consulted all political parties regarding the postponement of the fresh elections because—with Covid-19 preventive emphasis on isolation—it is not feasible.
In the wake of politicians’ snail pace in handling this sensitive elections issue, I expected opinion leaders, such as Timothy Mtambo and others, to lead the debate towards postponement of these fresh elections.
Let’s face it.
We just can’t have these fresh elections within the court’s specified 150 days. In fact, even the registration process should be cancelled forthwith.
Here is why:
One, these elections will increase mobility among the people and, we all know, the virus only travels and spread when people move.
Two, these elections will increase overcrowding and, we all know, this virus can only be contained by social distancing.
Three, political parties need to campaign to sale their manifesto to the people. In the wake of not more than 100 people gathering, how will political parties campaign?
Four, we need to ensure that government has enough resources for managing this pandemic and, also, managing the elections. We can’t manage these simultaneously—it will be a big drain on our already shrinking resource envelope.
Against these points, I expected Mtambo, in his news conference on Tuesday, to be people-friendly by challenging government to postpone these elections as a critical preventive measure of this pandemic.
I expected Mtambo, as a human rights activist, to challenge all politicians from all political divides to come together and deliberate the question of postponing these elections.
He should have been the critical voice in leading debates of ensuring that social distancing is working, isolations and quarantines are effective.
Unfortunately, Mtambo has chosen to politic, not to reason as nation-builder.
He has chosen the political blame game that hardly adds value in the quest of finding a solution to this pandemic.
This is a dangerous route Mtambo is taking and if his movement will be towing a deep politicized approach, he will lose the relevance he has gained and be revered for.
The point is: Covid-19 is real and we know that the best preventive weapon we have, for now, is social distancing.
Any leader of reckon should, therefore, strive to stand against every happening that increases overcrowding.
Covid-19 has ravaged the global economy and strained the healthcare system and Malawi needs to focus its resources to dealing with this crisis on the scale of a major war.
Malawians need to have a very serious look at how we need to go forward in this virus pandemic. We should not be playing Russian roulette with people’s lives.
Mtambo, surprisingly, has chosen to see politics not the well-being of people. That is not the leadership we expect from him—for now.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :