Minister Botomani evasive during BBC interview on Malawi lockdown cushions

Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology Mark Botomani, who is also government spokesperson, gave a very evasive answer when asked about the cushions put in place to protect the poorest and most vulnerable of society during 21-day coronavirus lockdown period.

Minister Botomani: Government has been working on a package

Malawi’s government was expected on Friday to announce support measures for the poor during the lockdown but the presser on that was cancelled.

The cancellation of the announcement came hot of the heals of High Court granting  Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HDRC) an order blocking the government from effecting  the  lockdown meant to curb the spread of Covid-19  at least for seven days.

But during an interview with BBC Focus on Africa programme, Botomani was clearly – and purposely – evasive when asked to outline the specific measures to cushion the people from the loss of livelihood during the lockdown.

Botomani told BBC that as all non-essential businesses and services were to cease operating during the lockdown, which was due to end on May 9, “government has been working on a package to specifically deal with the informal sector.”

Asked by BBC’s Audrey Brown to give ideas on measures that government has put in place to help people overcome the difficulties they would be experiencing in the coming weeks, Botomani was not clear on specifics.

“We were to announce the package that was specifically targeting people from the informal sector,” he said.

Quizzed on what is in the package, Botomani said: “We are putting up a lump sum, a sum of money, so that during this time we could be able to give out to groups of people.”

The minister continued: “You must also understand that we have social cash transfer, government has been implementing this program for some time now.

“Just recently we just paid for four months the people that live in rural areas as well in towns, the poor of the poorest”

Small-scale traders, often young people, had been staging protests in the three major cities against the lockdown plan, carrying placards declaring that it would be better to contract the virus than die of hunger because they are unable to work.

Most of those protesting called on the government to provide them with cash and food hand-outs if a lockdown went ahead.

So far Malawi has recorded 17 cases of Covid-19 with two deaths. The ministry of health has announced that three people who earlier tested positive have now tested negative but will re-do the tests.

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TooLegitToQuit
TooLegitToQuit
10 months ago

Mwambi wa lero….”kunena kwa ndithendithe kunapangitsa Botomani kukhala kape.” Phuma too much akuluwa. He talks like he knows everything. Another fool from the same production line like Dausi.

Bwana Wa Ulesi
Bwana Wa Ulesi
10 months ago

This article really matches with ur name Writer….. “Chiuta” “NorthKoreaAcadamy”

Ngambwe
Ngambwe
10 months ago

even the so called social cash transfer inayamba yachitikapo mma boma angati a chigawo cha ku mpoto ndi pakati??? that is happening in Thyolo, Mulanje, Phalombe, Chiradzuru ndi ena aku mwela. Dpp pliz stop policizing everything anthu mu zigawo zinazi anakuvotelaniso

Mtondoli Jonazi
Mtondoli Jonazi
10 months ago

Dude was evasive because government has no plan. He had nothing to tell because …well, there is nothing to tell. I doubt if he is clever enough to have spun the yarn!

Plan palibe apa.

Now tell me if I am wrong to say Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda’s ruling is a blessing in disguise for these clueless, brainless leaders. They should be thanking him for granting the injunction so that in the 7 days (now 6) maybe they can come up with a plan that is going to be beneficial to the economy and the vulnerable poor.

BigMan
BigMan
10 months ago

Useless government led by a senile out of touch president and on top of that you pick an inept inexperienced boy to speak on your behalf?!

Rubbish in Rubbish out.

CRIMINAL FoMINDED
CRIMINAL FoMINDED
10 months ago

Malawi walero ine dza nga pheee one more step to take God help us

cinangwa bho
cinangwa bho
10 months ago

anazolowera dubious jobs awa. pano afinyika pakhosi, game iyi ndi ya dziko lose lapasi, nde akufuna kuisewela on malawi standard ,apa akuphupha to impress aiwala kuli IT. aliyese pa dziko lose akuionela. zovetsa cisoni. a kaphulika ngati ce botoman wa ndiomwe azitilowetsa pasi. kufuna kuonetsa kucenjera ngati mkodzo wa mwana. ma political reporterz amakukwenyani nao mafuso io ataionela kale patali, ataiwererngera kale mbili yanu yose. mdi paja timaona munthu fulukutu fulukutu pampando kukanika kuyankha. basi kufusaso what, kuoneka ngati ma headfone sali mmalo. kuzolowera muonekela poyenera. mukhale ready kuzayankha mafuso momwe mwagwilitsila ncito ndalama za ma organization zomwe zabwera ku… Read more »

Y R U sostupid!
10 months ago

I am going to buy chombe tea.

Na bi soo
Na bi soo
10 months ago

Am sorry to say but that’s what happens when u put incompetent people in positions to run the show, just because they r DPP supporters does not qualify them to be ministers or any other position, u have doctors with fake phds for Christ sake & u still put them in positions what do u expect?

Nyekhwed
Nyekhwed
10 months ago

That is the problem with Copy and Paste policies. what has just happened is a disgrace to the nation of Malawi. I totally agree that Lock down, social distancing and common hygienic practices are important to the overall prevention of spread of corona virus. However a well thought out policy and systems must be put in place first. You do not play with peoples lives like that. Malawians have woken up and we will rise, enough is enough

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