With less than three days to go before the start of a 21-day lockdown imposed by President Peter Mutharika’s administration, Malawi Police Service and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) have advised Malawians to stay at home or face the other side of the law if they dare to disregard the order.
The two security agencies had a joint press briefing on Thursday where they emphasized that the two institutions will uphold the constitutional order in enforcing Malawians to stay at home as one way of containing the Coronavirus which has claimed thousands of lives across the world.
MDF General Commander Peter Namathanga said his forces will assist the Police in enforcing the lockdown, adding that if anyone disregard the order, the law will take its course.
“We will assist the Police to enforce the lockdown. We will deploy forces in all the regions so that people comply with the constitution. We are advising Malawians to stay at home during this period as this will help to reduce the spread of the virus,” said Namathanga.
His counterpart, Malawi Police acting Inspector General Duncan Mwapasa, expressed hope that Malawians will comply with the order.
“We know that others will deliberately choose not to comply and we also know that others have been attacking Police officers and trying to resist arrest but if this happen again, we will use all the necessary force to arrest the person. Let’s comply by staying at home so that together, we may be able to contain the virus,” he told the media.
The two Generals also advised Malawians to use the remaining days to prepare by buying basic needs for the stated period.
They added that during the 21-day period, only individuals with permit from relevant authorities shall be allowed to move during the specified time.
During the lockdown period, people will not be allowed to go to a market place outside their residential areas where police and military Officers will be deployed.
On Tuesday, Mutharika imposed a 21-day lockdown following a recommendation from Health Minister Jappie Mhango as one way of containing the virus which has already claimed two lives from the 16 cases registered in Malawi.
The lockdown will start on 18th April at midnight to the midnight of 9th May.
According to the Malawi leader, the lockdown may be extended beyond 9th May depending on the situation.
Meanwhile, vendors from Mzuzu have vowed to remain in the streets saying Coronavirus is better than the imposed lockdown.
The vendors were demonstrating in the city of Mzuzu on Thursday just hours before the joint press briefing by Malawi’s two security agents.