JB Accuses Government of Politicking COVID-19
Former president, Dr. Joyce Banda, has accused the Malawi government of politicizing the threat of the spread of corona virus which causes COVID-19.
Dr. Banda has said this in her Facebook page post where she claims there has been a lack of accurate information and political will in fighting the pandemic.
This, she said, is making the international community reluctant to help the country.
The remarks come following a 274 million US Dollar funding by the US to assist countries at risk of facing the pandemic, but Malawi is not on the beneficiary list.
“I am saddened to see that Malawi is missing from the list of the countries that can benefit from this fund during this time. I request government to be proactive and stop politicizing this pandemic,” reads her post.
Banda argues that government is not giving frequent updates on what is going on when “Other countries in the region provide frequent briefings so that the nation knows what is happening in their countries.
“The written briefs we see each day are not good enough as more than half of our people have no access to this information,” she writes.
Dr. Banda has since called for a robust political will from the country’s leadership saying the global community cannot assist when statistics are unavailable and challenges faced are not spelt out.
Malawi has yet to record a confirmed case of corona virus or Covid-19.
In an interview with ZODIAK Online, government spokesperson, Information minister, Mark Botomani, accuses Dr. Banda of trying to buy public sympathy.
“There is no case of Corona Virus. No one has been registered to say we have a case of Corona Virus. To say that government is being political on the matter is unfortunate because we cannot claim a case which is not in existence,” he said.
Government has a budget of K15bn for the Covid-19 response plan but only made available K2.5bn besides imposing restrictions aimed at confronting the problem.
There are restrictions on mass gatherings, suspension of international meetings, sanitation and travel of both nationals and foreigners.
The pandemic has hit the world at a time the country is preparing to hold fresh presidential polls on July 2nd 2020 following a court order which nullified the May 21 2019 Presidential polls on grounds it was marred with irregularities.
Malawi and Lesotho are now the only African countries which have yet to register a case of corona virus.
Angola, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Nigeria are among other African countries to benefit from the US grant.