On Covid-19 Malawi response: Mutharika is leading well, but… 

President Peter Mutharika’s leadership on coronavirus (Covid-19)  may have flaws, of course; but generally, he has been calm, collected and thoughtful in most of the decisions he has taken. 

What is paramount is that, from analysis, the President is being driven by facts and science; not emotions, outcries and outbursts from social media carpers.

When he, first, closed schools, limited social gatherings to 100 people, limited number of people in public transport, and advised people to work from home if needs be; the decision was all preventive and protective in nature.

It was all preventive and protective because by then we had not registered a case—partly because we didn’t have the capacity to test or, because, we just didn’t have the cases at all.

Working from that premise, the President was right to advance such preventive and protective measures because, like all of us here, we just didn’t know if we had a case or not.

He had to lead the nation towards that route.

Of course, some have slapped the President for prioritizing closure of schools over our borders.

But look around.

South Africa, which has so many cars in Africa,  had to close the schools and limit social gathering first before turning to the borders.

The philosophy is simple: You manage and control internal population first because its sparse and chaotic.

People entering borders are easily manageable through instant tests and quarantines, either institutional or self quarantines.

So I see the decisions President Mutharika took to be quite matured, ones driven by facts, science and global trends.

In fact, even with the first three cases, the President has been on top of the game.

He took it up upon himself to alert fellow Malawians and, what is more important, he urged for calm.

However, there are some gaps in his address which needs to be addressed by his communications team swiftly to remove doubts in the eyes of the public.

Malawians deserve to know the details of the 3 cases—things like when did they arrive in the country, through which border, which plane or bus, who have they been meeting with, etc.

Further, there is a question of the infected maid. Malawians are panicking as they don’t have official information regarding this maid.

Was she commuting to squatter township of  Ntandire? Where was she staying. Which people was she meeting. Where are the people she was meeting?

What we need to advise the President is that Covid-19 works on perception of the people. Government, then, has a duty to regularly set the Covid-19 agenda by providing every information needed.

The public should be building perception based on facts—and government should regularly provide this.

To this effect, Mutharika needs to come up with a team of communication experts, they can be from Ministry of Health, who should be the face of this crisis.

Not politicians.

These must be people with proven integrity that should be providing daily briefings and updates regarding Covid-19.

Otherwise, let’s wish the President well.

Anyone can catch coronavirus. Anyone can spread it.

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2 years ago

Well written article vuto ndiloti opposition supporters will never acknowledge any good from the govt or the president in respect to measures that has been implemented to contain the disease.

When school and public gathering was prohibited they faulted the president for such an undertaking claiming that he was politicizing the issue, like serious?

Then when the president announced that 3 pple have tested positive again they disputed this fact claiming that its a made up story just to further the interest of the govt.

Munakhala bwanji a Malawi osakonda dziko lanu?

2 years ago

It’s called his Job.

2 years ago

Closing borders should have been the first option not closing schools. Just because South Africa closed schools first it didn’t mean we had to do the same. Now we have covid~19 in the country because we kept our borders open. Nyasatimes stop licking Mutharika’s stinky ass.

2 years ago

Mike Fiko I literally don’t agree with you on the point of closing schools as a means of controlling population. All what we have done is like copy and paste from other countries. This failed because they started with schools we had to follow the same which was wrong. Our borders have been very porous and up to now are still porous. This is a deadly virus we could have learnt from other countries and implement strict measures on borders and eliminate self quarantine which is useless.

2 years ago

Mike Fiko, I think you have written your article politically, look my friend, it doesn’t matter the President was and or was calm to respond on the pandemic of Coronavirus, this Virus my friend looks like it is faster than the way the HIV was and or is, the solution of HIV was just simple and forward,, USE condoms,,, at least it was easier than this one of Coronavirus. My point is,, Malawi already is broke and it is a very poor County than the ones you have given as it’s examples,therefore it was not supposed to wait for the… Read more »

Malawi belong to the citizens

I don’t agree with the writer where he said managing the population first was good.Let me say this,a leader controls it’s borders first, that is to avoid the virus from other countries spreading into the country.When leaders fail to do that and when the first Case is announced people’s fears increases ,why simple answer is this, the virus has arrived in the country.South Africa waited for too long to close borders, especially stopping all international flights,it is these international flights that brought coronavirus to South Africa.My fellow Malawians, there was a day that africa did not have the virus.Until one… Read more »

2 years ago

Used Ethiopian Airlines to kIA arrived in Malawi on 1st April 2020, never been quarantined went straight to area 9 and their cases was delivered by your president of Malawi on 3rd April 2020 so Just accept the information on whether true or false and be panic.

2 years ago
Reply to  Lol

Was this right control? This is the genesis of everything even if you control the population it doesn’t yield good results

2 years ago

I may choose not to agree an.about the public knowing the details of the other patients. However the responsible authorities have to make sure that all contacts are traced. If you have been following the virus in east Africa you will see that individuals have been killed because of this virus and some have even committed suicide from rejection in their communities. So before disclosing some of this information please make sure that you can protect them.

Chimulile what.
2 years ago

The first part of this write up is trush. When I began reading it, my thought was kuti writer uyu adangodziwa chingerezi koma alibe nzeru olo imodzi. Panalinso zoti nkuyamikila pa report ya 2.5 minutes? Why did he not deliver it in such a way that he responds to press questions, even his own MBC? Nothing good can come from goliath except umbava ndi kupha. Chililaka chinadzaza mkamwa. Even chilomwe sichimatuluka ngati mother tongue. Can’t he get dentures?

Yaya Mfiti
2 years ago

Kambewa chisale , APM is too big to visit the said family what you should know is that there is a team that is giving the president the much needed information and that team is going around doing some checks and balances ,The maid has already done the damage to people she stay with ,she chats with ,she sleep with and let us expect fire coz there will be a lot of cases very soon mainly in Lilongwe ,koma moto umapita kumene kwatsala tchire so Blantyre and other places beware coz anyone can catch it ,and anyone can spread it… Read more »

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