The future of the coronavirus lockdown in Malawi lies in the hands of Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda who is expected to make a ruling next week Wednesday April 29 2020 after hearing the application by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) on Friday as the Attorney General formally expressed its intention not to contest or vacate the injunction.
This means the injunction on lockdown which HRDC obtained to gether with Church and Society Programme of CCAP Livingstonia Synod, legislator Kezzie Msukwa, will remain active until when Judge Nyirenda is expected to make a ruling on the application by claimants.
On Friday, Judge Nyirenda heard arguments from the claimants who among others want the State to bear the costs of the case as well as condemn Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale on his approach to the case.
Judge Nyirenda said the court would rule Wednesday on whether to sustain or dismiss the lockdown.
The Attorney General withdrew the challenge on the case at the 11th hour, saying said government already performed its duty by announcing the lockdown.
“We believe all the information needed to make the right decision is in the public domain. The virus is not out there playing games,” said Kaphale.
The government wants a three-weeks strict lockdown measures to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Citizens are now asked, not ordered, to act in ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Most people in Malawi found the lockdown outlook more terrifying than the disease, though they acknowledged that Covid-19 is a serious challenge.
HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence has faulted government planning a lockdown without properly considering the impacts on the poor.