UTM disregard COVID-19  Preventive and containment measures 

Dec 28, 2021

By John Saukira – Malawi Exclusive 

News of the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, has reached every part of the globe through various modes of communication. 

Such widespread publicity of the deadly pandemic comes as partly an effort to arrest its devastating impacts on the human race. 

Malawi, like the rest of the world, has been quick in revising Covid-19 preventive and containment measures as way of combating the disease. We may recall that these measures were relaxed at some point when cases significantly reduced.

On 16th December 2021, Malawi’s Minister of Health, Hon. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, MP, delineated Covid-19 measures to be adhered to so as to intensify the fight against the pandemic. In her press address, Hon Chiponda, who is also Co- Chairperson of the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus reported that the stipulated preventive measures will be in force from the 20th of December 2021.

Thematically, the Ministry of Health came up with 5 preventive measures, and these are; those targeting public gatherings, those targeting workplaces, those targeting Hospitality and Recreation business, those targeting travel and transport and lastly those targeting Education Institutions. 

It’s very disturbing that one of the Tonse Alliance partners, United Transformation Movement (UTM,) has decided to disregard the stipulated restrictions by organizing a rally to take place in Karonga Nyungwe Constituency. 

Just a reminder, the line ministry ordered that all political meetings must attract a maximum of 100 persons if indoors and 250 if outdoors. Despite the likelihood that UTM leaders are pretty aware of such restrictions, they have decided to arrogantly overlook them.

It is sad that such violations are coming from one of the Tonse Alliance partners, its even more mindboggling that some of those expected to attend are cabinet Ministers within the current administration.

Readers may wish to know that the Co-Chairperson of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19, Hon Chiponda, reported that her Ministry requested the Ministries of Homeland Security and that of Local Government for maximum and very strict enforcement of the set preventive measures. 

We are waiting to see if UTM will proceed with their planned rally with total adherence to the set number of participants or will they violate the set measures?

On the same topical issue, we have just learnt that the Tonse Alliance lead partner, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) cancelled all their planned political gatherings even before restrictions were officially announced. 

UTM, as one of the partners was supposed to lead by example, practically respecting all the set measures. What a bad image UTM is projecting as an alliance partner! UTM’s behavior is highly wanting, the party can do better than this.

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