High Court Judge, Kenyatta Nyirenda, has granted Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) a seven day injunction stopping government from implementing a lockdown of the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The injunction was granted in the afternoon of Friday, April 17, in Lilongwe.
High Court and Supreme Court Registrar, Agness Patemba, confirmed that the ruling is against the commencement of the lockdown on Saturday until there is an interparty hearing between HRDC and government on April 24.
Patemba said: “On April 24, the court will hear from both parties and it’s when the court will make a decision on whether there should be a lockdown or not but as of now until April 24 there will be no lockdown as ordered by the court.”
Chairperson for HRDC, Gift Trapence, has expressed excitement over the court’s decision.
Trapence said HRDC is not against the lockdown but wants government to ensure that people are supported with emergency supplies.
“We feel that the President jumped some steps to score a political mileage otherwise he would have consulted the parliament and let parliament to discuss and come up with a proper guideline to mitigate the pandemic,” said Trapence.
He further said before coming up with lockdown decision the president should have considered citizens’ rights to food and economic activities since many Malawians are poor who lives beyond poverty line.