Malawi’s influential and leading daily newspaper The Nation on Monday April 27 backed the country’s estranged Vice-President Saulos Chilima address on the National Situation and Response to coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, saying his input “makes sense.”
In its extended coverage of Chilima’s televised address which he dared President Peter Mutharika to demonstrate leadership in the fight against Covid-19 by bringing on board all stakeholders to be part of an inclusive national response, The Nation, used an editorial comment to back his alternative views.
The paper pointed out that legally, the Office of the Vice President relies on delegation from the President, but that is not the case anymore between President Mutharika and Chilima who have turned unto fierce political foe.
On inclusivity in the national response on Covid-19, the paper stated that while the Vice-President was not necessarily reinventing the wheel in his appeal, coming from an estranged Second Citizen, his appeal strengthen the case of inclusivity.
“It does not help the nation or anyone to sweep alternative views under the carpet or indeed dismiss them as ‘politics’ as is often the case,” the paper pointed out.
It observed that fighting a pandemic of the nature of Covid-19 requires “concerted efforts” from health professionals, opinion leaders, captains of the industry, civil society leaders, the clergy and even opposition politicians.
“Like we said the other day, no one has the monopoly of wisdom and two hearts are better than once,” reads the comment.
The paper states that it is time as a country to draw some lessons from others who have taken an inclusive approach and are facing little or no resistance in the implementation of Covid-19 precautionary measures, including the controversial lockdown which sparked spontaneous protests in Malawi.
Malawi’s leading daily newspaper pointed out that Chilima and many other offering alternative strategies should not be dismissed.
“The issues they raise should be considered in good faith and not seen with disdain largely emanating from political differences. The pandemic knows no political colour. it is attacking everyone rich or poor, religious or otherwise,” reads the comment in conclusion.
In his speech titled Remarks by the Right Honourable State Vice- President of the Republic of Malawi on the National Situation and Response to Covid-19, Chilima said to win the fight against the pandemic it is important that the response should be owned by the nation.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic should not be used as an opportunity to gain political mileage.
“The stakes are way too high for us to be grandstanding and seeking to gain political advantage out of this. Let us together own the solution to this crisis in the spirit of umunthu [humanity],” said Chilima.
Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Mark Botomani, who is the official government spokesperson, said government would come up with a comprehensive response on the issues raised.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :