Mutharika deserves kudos on improved Malawi Covid-19 strategy — Analyst

Give President Peter Mutharika credit: He’s positively responded to critics of his administration’s novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic response strategy by forming an inclusive Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus and the launch of an emergency cash transfer programme for about one million people and small businesses,  social and governance commentator Makhumbo Munthali has told Nyasa Times.

President Mutharika:  Analyst says he convincingly managed to drive home a message which many wanted to hear

In an interview, Munthali  said President Mutharika in  his 15-minute televised address titled ‘Statement on Coronavirus Measures Updates’ on public broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation Television on Tuesday evening  “convincingly” managed to drive home a message which many wanted to hear.

“His speech largely addressed some of the key issues around adopting an inclusive response to Covid-19 and putting in some social protection measures as raised by Malawi Law Society, vice president Saulos Chilima, MCP president Lazarus Chakwera, politician Timothy Mtambo and Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC),” said Munthali.

The governance commentator maintained that with lesser political legitimacy following the Constitutional Court ruling which declared  Mutharika  as not duly elected and nullified the May  election results,  any critical decision taken by the President in response to Covid-19  “would be treated with suspicion and not enjoy wider public support.”

He said: “It is therefore in such a context that the President ought to make sure that all key players including his political rivals are included and consulted in such a response.”

Mutharika has formed  an inclusive Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus which replaces the Special Cabinet Committee on Covid-19 that has recently come under fire for alleged shortfalls in communicating critical technical health issues.

“Coming against a background of a growing public backlash against the Special Cabinet Committee, the public have huge expectations that the Presidential Committee shall not be just one of those that simply rubber stamps already conceived executive decisions  but shall be a platform through which the President shall get sound counsel in his government response to the pandemic,” observed Munthali.

In his address, Mutharika announced the launch of an emergency cash transfer programme for about one million people and small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

He said eligible households will receive K35,000 ( about $40) monthly payment, matching the country’s minimum wage, through mobile cash transfer starting in May.

The commentator said beyond the President’s speech, one hopes that the authorities have thought through the  implementation strategies.

“Identification of beneficiaries of cash transfers or loans has always been a challenge as it has often been subjected to politicisation.

“Otherwise, if the President would live the talk then certainly we should be on the right path in our response to Covid-19,” he said.

Giving his verdit on Mutharika’s address, the governance commentator said: “All in all, President Mutharika had a good day, and sounded Presidential.”

In the address, the President also condemned politicisation of the Covid-19 response and urged Malawians to embrace precautionary measures.

He added that those who deny coronavirus existence “must be sent to the mental hospital or to a lunatic asylum.”

Malawi has so far registered 36 coronavirus cases, including three deaths.

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Guta
Guest

Mutharika is calm and democratic. He has wisdom.

Nane
Guest

Mutharika sapupuluma. He had to think deeply about strategy. KUDOS mr President

Pupa
Guest

The strategy is far much better than many people expected.

Phiri
Guest

APM has done well

Alex mgeni
Guest
Alex mgeni

Koma vuto ndi tulo paliponse. Some things dont need you to be a rocket scientist to.work out…….. Boma lili ndi nduna zakuba zokha zokha. You dont need to be a dpp member kuti ukhale minister. A malawi ziwani izi. A Bauleni, palibe mukuziwa. Ambuye akuyendeleni.

The SNIPER
Guest
The SNIPER

@ Bauleni, we are not all stupid sir, I can tell you what the President has done is more harmful than ever before, are you aware that he was quite only to pave way for his boys to steal money for him? Prove me wrong by arrest these Ministers if he is not in this game dude! Let him clear himself for this evil done by his Ministers, Njobvu mwasegulila nokha, zaononga ndipamene muziti inclusive Task Force? Aaaaaa come on! I’m not that stupid you may think. After all these things, what your President has done is just to reset… Read more »

Bauleni
Guest

We’ve had a few Presidents here in Malawi. By far Apm is the most Democratic. This man is truly an accomplished and distinguished law Professor. He is Full if guile and knowledgable. Where others would rush their decisions he takes time to ponder. If it were another president we would be in Civil war by now. If for instance Chakwera had his way Kukhetsa mwazi. This man, our only hope. Adadi ( kholo lathu )

Shadreck
Guest
Shadreck

Ndi machine amaziwa compain

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