Chakwera, Malawi ministers bashed for breaking Covid rules at birthday party on New Year’s Eve


President Lazarus Chakwera and several cabinet ministers, including the Malawi Minister of Health, have been condemned for breaching Covid-19 rules at a birthday party on New Year’s Eve.

Chakwera and the ministers attended the 50th birthday party for wife to business tycoon and Khato Civil’s Chairperson Simbi Phiri in Mchinji.

Ministers who attended the party included Gender Minister Patricia Kaliati, Foreign Affairs Minister Eisenhower Mkaka, Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe and Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda. Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara also attended.

There was also a performance by Congolese famous artist Koffi Olomide.

Simbi Phiri and wife

Videos shared on social media show that there were more than 200 people at the event and the partygoers were not wearing masks.

On Thursday, Kandodo expressed concern over the escalating situation of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country and re-emphasize the importance of complying with the public health measures such as masks and 200 people limit on gatherings.

However, yesterday she was captured at the party maskless and mingling with fellow attendees and dancing.

Local media reported that, the party attracted thousands of patrons, both local and international.

“Minister of Health breaking COVID-19 Preventative Measures but telling the nation how to go about it. Za Ubulutu zomwe zikuchitika Pamudzi Pano,“ wrote social commentator Joshua Chisa Mbele.

“No masks. We joke too much in this country. We are hypocrites,“ wrote another social commentator Makhumbo Munthali.

A commenter on Faacebook said: “Selective application of the rules and regulations.Trust me,there are double standards by these leaders of ours.It’s the ordinary ones who are supposed to wear the masks on social gathering not them the political elite!Poor Chiponda,you fail to observe your own advice!Honestly and frankly speaking,nobody in his right mind can take seriously what these people say on this novel pandemic. What a circus!!!“

Chakwera attended the party in his capacity as a longtime friend of Simbi Phiri.

Chiponda (R)

“I did not think it was proper to delegate so I came and my wife also came,“ said Chakwera.

The Malawi leader in his speech also applauded Phiri for his great works in the country and wished his wife, Sikhanyisiwe Phir, well.