Centre for Economic Development Initiatives (CDED) has given President Lazarus Chakwera a 48-hour-period to publicly apologize and withdraw the gazetted COVID-19 containment regulations.
CIDED told the media on Thursday that the demand follows President Chakwera’s failure to comply with the regulations at a funeral ceremony he attended on Wednesday in Blantyre.
On Wednesday, Chakwera attended a funeral service of Malawi Congress Party’s longtime serving member, Roseby Dinala, popularly known as Mai Dinala, in Blantyre, where people did not observe CIVID-19 preventive measures.
Executive Director for CDEDI Sylvester Namiwa said failure by the President to respect the limitations on public gathering of not more than 50 people clearly shows the regulations are unattainable in Malawi.
Namiwa said: “We are appealing to President Chakwera to withdraw the recently gazetted COVID-19 preventive guide lines because everyone has seen what happened at the funeral where the President has clearly failed to adhere to the rules.”
He further said the conduct has clearly shown that the “the sugar quoted COVID-19 measures recently gazette by the government were a kind of copy and pest and they have never taken into consideration the cultural, social and economic aspects of this country”.
But in reaction, President Chakwera’s spokesperson, Sean Kampondeni, said the head of state will not apologize because he only attended a church service where COVID-19 preventive measures were strictly adhered to.
“What is on record publicly, including through video footage of the ceremony, is that there is one part of the ceremony which the President attended and two parts that he didn’t. The one part that he attended was a church service at ST. Columbus and there was an assurance that all measures would be followed but the other two ceremonies that include the vigil at the deceased house and the burial, he didn’t attend so there is nothing for the President to apologize,” emphasized Kampondeni.
Meanwhile, a social commentator, Humphreys Mvula, has faulted President Chakwera for not abiding to the new Covid-19 gazetted laws prohibiting a gathering of more than 50 people during funerals.