High Court halts lockdown

High Court Judge Justice Kenyatta Nyirenda on Tuesday suspended a three-week government lockdown to contain the spread of deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Justice Nyirenda has also referred the case to the Chief Justice for possible certification as a constitution matter considering the constitutional issues that have arisen pertaining to the case.

He also faulted the office of the Attorney General for failing its constitutional responsibility by snubbing court proceedings.

Justice Nyirenda said the conduct displayed by the Attorney General’s office begs a lot of questions.

On April 17, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and four other parties obtained a stay order against the lockdown on the grounds that government did not follow the law when announcing it.

President Peter Mutharika announced a 21-day lockdown from April 18 2020 up to May 9 2020 in a bid to curb coronavirus.

But the move ignited protests by vendors in major cities and districts calling on the government to provide basic necessities such as food and money before implementing the lockdown.

HRDC Chairperson Gift Trapence argued that government announced the lockdown without putting in place measures to cushion the poor during the lockdown.

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