The Government has condemned Justice Kenyatta Nyirenda for granting an injunction that led to the release of four Chinese nationals from a coronavirus quarantine facility.
Minister of Information Mark Botomani said in a statement yesterday that Government is dismayed by Nyirenda’s order which prevented the deportation of the four Chinese nationals.
The injunction also allowed the four to leave a quarantine facility at Kamuzu International Airport and enter Malawi two days after arriving from China which is one of the countries highly affected by the Covid-19 disease.
According to Botomani, government finds Nyirenda’s order short on patriotism saying the judge undermined local and global efforts to protect lives from the virus.
“At a time different players are taking active roles to prevent importation of Covid-19 into Malawi, it is disappointing that Judge Nyirenda is pulling in the opposite direction. The court order has potential to make Malawi a weak link in global efforts to fight Covid-19,” he said.
He further said that it is unfortunate that the Judiciary chose to put the lives of millions at a potential risk at a time players in different sectors have complied with Government’s guidance in Covid-19 prevention.
“Government, therefore, joins the many voices that have spoken against the court order. Government would like to ask Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda to join the efforts in in the fight against Covid-19, instead of being an enemy of the efforts,” said Botomani.
The Minister, in the statement, commended the Immigration Department for acting diligently to protect Malawians from potential importation of Covid-19 by deporting 10 other Chinese nationals and putting the four in quarantine.
He also thanked various sector players who have heeded measures introduced to protect Malawians and the rest of the world from the outbreak.
Malawi is yet to record a case of the coronavirus but neighbors Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania have recorded cases.
On Friday, the government imposed a travel ban on foreign nationals from highly affected countries such as Italy, China, Germany and United Kingdom.
To prevent the spread of the virus, Malawians are being encouraged to follow precautionary measures such as washing of hands frequently with soap and water; avoiding handshakes; maintaining social distance with people; and avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth.