Member of Parliament for Lilongwe City South East , Ulemu Msungama, of opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has accused Special Cabinet Committee on Coronavirus of lying that a person who died Wednesday in Kaliyeka, Lilongwe was tested COVID-19 positive.
In statement posted on his Facebook page, the parliamentarian says he is completely disappointed on how government is confusing people by giving unsubstantiated and confusing reports on what has happened in Kaliyeka where the committee has declared an epicenter of coronavirus.
“Let me disclaim to the people of the motherland that this is a serious pandemic hence, this is not time for trivial party politics,” he says.
Adding: “I took a pause and decided to let the experts drive the narrative around Covid-19, and I was quiet, even though I saw that in Malawi, the fight against Corona sadly is being driven by a very bad political agenda on one side and a lackadaisical attitude on the other side…and then the drama decided to appear in my constituency, and now I am compelled so say something because I cannot hold my peace anymore”.
Msungama says his “little research with the Lilongwe DHO and the local clinic ( 24hour Clinic) where these people were allegedly examined shows that no tests have been conducted and even the deceased, Mr Dudha, ( God rest his soul) was suffering from Asthma and not Covid-19.”
He says the contact tracing that was done also was rapidly and poorly done and apparently has shown that none of them are in fact sick.
“So it puzzles me how the Government machinery can rush to declare them Covid-19 positive and worse still elevate the national statistics, especially in Kaliyeka, Lilongwe. The fact is, there have been no tests, and as a result there is no outbreak in Kaliyeka. Mr Dudha’s immediate family members also confirm that he was asthmatic, actually from birth and died from an asthmatic attack.”
He continued: “I personally took the initiative, he says, and followed up with 24hrs clinic in Chilinde considering the fact that late Mr. Dudha was there recently and asked for the clinic to cease operations and further to that, all staff that had interacted with him should be tested, but though the DHO’s office promised to test them, but until now, nobody in that clinic is tested and the clinic is just operating normal.
“These very poorly administered and botched up cases cannot help but confirm my suspicion that the motive behind this hullabaloo is to scare the people in my constituency and the larger community registering and engaging in the upcoming fresh elections.”
Msungama further says he is not blind to the reality, Covid-19 is real and there are possibly many Malawians who are carrying the virus.
But he says this is not the time to create political fear and confusion.
“For crying out loud, please concentrate on finding and helping the people who are really sich and need real help, that is the least we expect from you our government, and while I hold the floor, let me also say, think carefully about the so called lockdown, close our borders, please, design a lockdown that will make sense for Malawi and protect us as Malawians from the disease and from hunger.”
He suggests that the government task-force needs beefing up with professionals, CSOs, other parties to create a more inclusive and proactive committee.
“For the nation, until this Government mans up and shows some leadership, corona is real, so please keep and maintain physical and social distance, as well as washing your hands often and refrain from touching your face. Together, with God on our side, we win! Psalm 91.5,” he concludes.
Nic Cheeseman, a professor of democracy at Birmingham University, says that Malawi’s leaders have used the pandemic as an excuse to infringe on democratic rights — and secure their own position.
“Critics fear they are manipulating the crisis to consolidate their own power,” he said in quotes reported by Mail & Guardian.
The opposition is worried that Mutharika is going to use the pandemic to delay the fresh presidential elections slated for July 2 2020, and keep himself in power.
Already, controversial electoral commission chairperson Jane Ansah — widely viewed as a Mutharika surrogate — has applied to have the election postponed. The courts rejected this application.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :