Malawi army, police to enforce lockdown: To use ‘necessary force’, respect human rights

Acting Inspector General of Police Duncan Mwapasa and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Commander General Andrew Namathanga  have said as the country is preparing to enter a three-week lockdown to fight the spread of coronavirus, they will enforce the strict measures declared by President Peter Mutharika.

Mwapasa Police will use necessary force 
Malawi Defence Force Commander Major Andrew Namathanga say the police and MDF are prepared and ready to assist with compliance with the 21 day lockdown as declared by President Peter Mutharika.

The two said this at a news conference held in Lilongwe at the Police headquarters.

Army General and acting police chief  said they will tighten security including increasing snap checks and patrols.

On his part Mwapasa said the police is there to enforce whereas the MDF will be there to help the police in ensuring that the public comply with the lockdown.

According to Mwapasa Police will use “necessary force” to take  people out of the streets if they will resist.

Mwapasa asked Malawians to comply with the guidelines and stay at home.

“But we will make sure not to infringe on human rights,” said Mwapasa.

However, he said  “in some cases where we are required to use force to arrest the situation, the police officers may use minimal force as prescribed in the law,” he said.

Mwapasa urged Malawians to buy more food stuff and grocies as one way of preparing for the  “stay at home” lockdown.

Commenting on how markets will be managed, Mawapasa said while the main markets such as Lilongwe and Blantyre will be closed, markets in the locations will still be open within a prescribed time to serve the people.

“Local markets such as Area 25 will be open from 6am to 2pm every day. Once people have bought their necessities, they are requested to go back home and avoid unnecessary travel.

“We do not expect somebody from Area 25 to go to Kawale market. That will not be allowed,” said Mwapasa.

On his part, Army commander Namathanga, said soldiers will ensure that they follow their mandate as cited with laws of Malawi.

Namathanga also asked Malawians to follow the guidelines prescribed by health experts such as hand washing and social distancing to be safe.

Mwapasa  was flanked by Police  administration officer Mwawi Kalua, Richard Luhanga  the deputy director of research and planning  while Namathanga  had the company of Brigadier  Blaise Saenda and Colnel Dan Kuwali the head of MDF legal services.

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Mkanda Gudu
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Mkanda Gudu

Who is the Commander in Chief of these groups of people. Malawi is not a Police or Military state. This press conference symbolizes creating fear among the citizens of the country. These announcements should have been made by the civil arm of the executive.

Alex Basopo Njovu
Guest

In as much as Njala ndichilombo people need to stay at home. Here in Zambia especially in Lusaka we have not implemented a total local down but we are adhering to measures that government has put in place to curb the spread of corona virus. Markets and Malls are open.

Mtondowodoka
Guest

People will only understand when they start dying. Remember how long it took for people to start abstaining and using condoms. We had funerals everyday and on every corner, that’s how Malawians learn. Let this be Mr minister, you lot have tried your part.Tikayamba kufa azibusa will support the initiative, so will community leaders and the opposition but for now this message will fall on def ears

Mwikho
Guest
Mwikho

Great!!! You have accepted defeat, your comments were wayward. RIP

National CEO
Guest
National CEO

Why can’t you just lock down those that are found positive (less tha 20) and let the 18 million people follow hygiene measures. Even if 50 000 can die how many will stay alive? By the way how many people die in Malawi per year with oter diseases? I think it is more than 50,000. If you compare the cases of those recovering and those dying from COVID 19, more people are recovering and less are dying. Please give hope and not fear to the people. Only those who think properly will agree with me. Check the statistics below as… Read more »

Mtondowodoka
Guest

Iwe if you don’t care about dying that’s on you. But every life of every citizen is precious and unfortunately corona doesn’t have a waiting list or prescribed protocol on who dies or who lives. You want my grandmother or son to die because you don’t care about who lives or dies? You are a very stupid person. I for one don’t want to become a statistic, I want to live and so do my loved ones and many other voiceless Malawians.The problem with politicising everything, you start to think the country is your family klaar and conclusively endorse stupidity… Read more »

Mwikho
Guest
Mwikho

Surely the above comment doesn’t deserve this reaction unless there is something behind the lockdown and you are an Interested party.

Ineyo
Guest
Ineyo

Do you mean they can never be another solution rather than forced locked down. ?There is never one solution to a problem. They advice people to wear mask and medical gloves all the time. And the sick to stay at home. These are the times though we are going there .. The end of times.. Public health criminals.. And sooner they will implement laws criminalise those who will refuse to take their bids.. We are the most unlucky generation to live in these end times.. Anything that is happening now to globe was planned long time ago .. Brace your… Read more »

zilirakhasu
Guest
zilirakhasu

There’s one silver lining in all this insanity: The people who blindly support DPP will now see the party for what it really is – a club of greedy elites who don’t care in the least for the struggling masses. Poor DPP supporters will be going without food during the lockdown while the DPP fatcats will be feasting in their gated homes. Tonse tifinyidwa limodzi m’makombonimu…

Malawi belong to the citizens
Guest

Njala ndichilombo, coronavirus ndi kachilombo, zonse ndi zowopya.Soldiers and police officers should first distribute food parcels to all Malawians who do not have food for 21 day, then lockdown them when they have food, chifukwa sangadye dothi ndi udzu anthuwo.If the government does not distribute food parcels then allow Malawians to work and do their businesses but everyone should put a musk on . Without putting a musk, a person should be arrested.Soldiers and police officers should enforce everyone to put musk on atleast for now.Forcing people who have no food to go on lockdown that suicidal, to Malawians for… Read more »

Mwene
Guest
Mwene

” Buy more Food stuff and Groceries” This is an insult. Are you aware that 85% of Malawians live ” Hand to Mouth life?”.It just shows your blind loyalty, you are just carrying out orders without thinking and reasoning. Details of the Lockdown have not been shared with the people, who do you expect them to comply????? How will you enforce something the populace doesn’t know????

malawi2020
Guest
malawi2020

You mean that even the Army has agreed this nonsense to lockdown ? Army inalidi kale. Pezani Pezani manyota kumeneo nthawi ndiyomweyi. INJUNCTION BASI

Nonsense
Guest
Nonsense

In European countries people in lockdown are given unemployment benefits, tax cuts, psychological assistance etc. Therefor a lockdown is manageable in that context.

In Malawi people are given nothing but fear from MDF and the MP who are most likely going to plunder the remaining businesses.

The political elite has drifted too far away from the common citizen living from hand to mouth, every day.

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