President Laz cancels Malawi independence celebrations amidst Covid-19 threat

Newly elected President Lazarus Chakwera  was set to be inaugurated this Monday at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe during a ceremony which would have also marked  56th Malawi Independence Celebration  have been cancelled amidst threat of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic due to rapid increase of  virus cases the country has so far registered.

Malawi’s newly-elected President Lazarus Chakwera: To address the nation on TV and radio.-Photo bu Lisa Kadango, Mana

Chakwera, was already  sworn in as Malawi’s sixth President at the Malawi Square in Lilongwe  alongside Vice-President Saulos Chilima last week.

But the President who  also expected to deliver his inauguration speech,  said the stadium event will not go ahead, instead inauguration will be restricted to 100 invited people at Kamuzu Barracks.

“In view of this accelerating rate of local transmission and its wide geographical spread, I have decided to cancel the celebration to prevent any persons who may be exposed to the virus in one part of the country from spreading it to other parts as they travel to and from the celebrations,” said Chakwera.

Chakwera, therefore, urged  members of the public who were planning to travel to the capital for the celebrations to cancel their travel plans accordingly.

“I know that those of you who were planning to attend the celebrations had already gone to some expense in making preparations, but I am counting on your good nature and good sense to see as I do that your health and safety is of paramount importance,” he said.

Meanwhile, the inauguration will proceed in a scaled down event.

Chakwera’s predecessors have used the inauguration speech to provide policy direction, especially on the economy, in the coming five years in a country that is clocking 56 years of independence on July 6, but has remained one of the poorest in the world, relying on donors for 40 percent of its recurrent budget and 80 percent of the development budget.

President Chakwera inherits a country deeply divided, politically, regionally and ethnically. With an economy not much better than it was at independence in 1964, with poverty deeply entrenched, with a government steeped in corruption. And with a Covid-19 pandemic spreading.

Chakwera  defeated immediate former president Peter Mutharika by around 59% to 40% in the 23 June election which was a rerun ordered by the courts of the elections held in May 2019. Mutharika won that election but then Malawi’s Constitutional Court annulled it in February 2020 because of extensive vote rigging.

It was only the second known time in Africa’s history that a court had annulled an election and certainly one which the incumbent leader had won. The first was in Kenya in 2017.

On being sworn in last Sunday, Chakwera promised “a government that serves, not a government that rules; a government that inspires, not a government that infuriates; a government that listens, not a government that shouts; a government that fights for you, not against you”.

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Patriach
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Patriach

The matter of fact is covid is here with or without politics it’s up to you as an individual to protect yourself. If our new government is taking steps to mitigate chi situation ichi I say bravo coz at the end of the day if not me, a relative, a friend or colleague somewhere will be affected either way without proper measures we all lose. So if you start pointing fingers at Chakwera, Chilima, or whomever you want to call a cadet remember this. We all came from one family the first on earth.The first family on this Earth was… Read more »

Mofolo
Guest
Mofolo

Laz tell army commander to bring the stupid sword to your residence period if you think swearing in by the chief justice is not enough m stop this nonsense of trying to import covid 19:into the army barracks

Dada
Guest
Dada

Hehehehe, koma sewelo la tikufelanji lafika pokoma. Bambo a sikono akuti Kuli Corona, dzulo amanena kuti matendawa kulibe kumalawi kuno.kkkkkkkkkkk

Revolutionary
Guest

Namu Namu Sheikh Chakwera, that’s being wise, swallowing one’s pride for the greater good!

Malawi belong to the citizens
Guest

Thanks Chakwera, doing that has saved more lives.Buy more flu immune booster medicine to help malawians to boost their immune system.This virus needs cure that we don’t have right now.

Charles
Guest
Charles

Remember that we are past campaign time and should be looking at how to solve the problems that are lying ahead of us. Blaming the UTM/MCP leadership will not help anyone in the country and remember that it will not be leaders of the current government will get ill – All of us in Malawi are at risk of contracting covid19. Generally most Malawians never believed that covid 19 existed and that it can kill abd this is evidenced by the way we carelessly mingle in market places and other public places without social distancing and without wearing face masks.The… Read more »

CHILIMA-COVIDIOT
Guest
CHILIMA-COVIDIOT

Chilima
Juicy Banda
Kaliati
Izi ndizinyalala mMalawi monse muno

Wawa
Guest
Wawa

Hehede Ulu. Kulibe Covid 19 ku Malawi sayth the wise Politician. Today the chickens have come home to roost. Face the music.

Shonai
Guest

May aakulu akoma akagonera.

Che
Guest

Hehe ,interesting to see people who deny the existence of covid 19 advising the nation on protective measures.this disease if not tamed ,it will spell the beginning of lost trust and goodwill from the general public.there is a mountain to climb

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