Atupele blames HRDC’s anti-lockdown injunction for rise in Coronavirus cases


President of United Democratic Front (UDF), Atupele Muluzi, says the anti-lockdown injunction which Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) obtained in April has led to a rise in COVID-19 cases.

In a Facebook post today, Muluzi said HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence and his colleagues put Malawians’ lives at risk by going to court to challenge the lockdown.

“Now we have a serious upsurge in COVID-19 cases which the lockdown wanted to prevent. This will take away one fundamental right to some which is the right to life,” he said.

In April, when Malawi had 17 Coronavirus cases, government announced a decision to lock down the country for three weeks in order to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.

The HRDC obtained an injunction arguing that the government did not consider the living conditions of Malawi and therefore demanded that government work on cushioning the people.

Government did not challenge the injunction and Malawi went on to hold Presidential Elections on June where former President Peter Mutharika lost to Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

Before election day, politicians – including Muluzi who was Mutharika’s runningmate – crisscrossed the country holding mass campaign rallies.

According to the Coronavirus Taskforce, cases are now rising with 802 Coronavirus cases recorded over the past two weeks. The number of local transmissions has also surpassed the number of imported cases.

In his Facebook, post, Muluzi said when Malawians start dying of COVID-19 they will remember the men and women who exposed them to this pandemic.

“I struggle to figure out if this won’t be genocide – the events of the past have shown the disregard for destruction in your (Trapence’s) endeavour to be relevant.

“Everyone should be held accountable for their actions and that doesn’t make you an exemption,” said Muluzi.