LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Malawi High Court Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda on Thursday, January 13, 2022 dismissed Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) and freelance journalist Mundango Nyirenda application against implementation of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for some sectors.
The case has been dismissed with costs.
In his ruling delivered Judge Nyirenda said the two sued wrong parties and that they lack sufficient interest in the matter.
CDEDI and Nyirenda wanted to stop the Ministry of Health from implementing the mandatory administration of COVID-19 vaccines.
They also wanted Parliament to stop demanding COVID-19 certificates from its employees as a precondition for accessing Parliament premises.
The application was also meant to stop all private and public institutions from demanding vaccination certificates from employees and customers as a requirement for accessing premises.
Lawyer representing the claimants, Oscar Taulo, told the court that the COVID-19 vaccine is just an experimental vaccine that should not be taken seriously.
“Coronavirus vaccines, [in fact] all the vaccines, are short term and not yet approved by health authorities. They, therefore, cannot be forced on people,” Taulo said.
However, Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda described Sylvester Namiwa and Mundango as trouble-makers who have nothing to do with health issues and who cannot stand on behalf of Malawians on health issues.
Chakaka Nyirenda also argued that the applicants had sued the wrong public institutions.
According to the AG, the applicants wrongly addressed the Speaker by saying “Speaker of Parliament”, instead of Speaker of the National Assembly, and that, as such, they “misinformed the court”.
He added that Mundango misled the court by saying that he was sent back at Parliament Building for not having a COVID-19 certificate.
The AG said, as opposed to what Mundango said, there was no such meeting at Parliament Building.
“The applicants Mundango Nyirenda and Sylvester Namiwa are mercenary, busybodies and trouble-makers that do not know what they are looking for, “ Chakaka Nyirenda said.
According to the AG, the decision by CDEDI was only taken by one person and not all the board members.
He argued that CDEDI just copied a document from the International Criminal Court, representing them as facts that the court needs to consider.
The AG asked the court to interpret the importance of the vaccine, citing the World Health Organisation as one of the bodies that urges the public to get inoculated.
“The decision by the Clerk of Parliament to issue the mandate was purely a decision to its employees. As an employer, it [Parliament] has a duty to protect employees from infectious diseases,” Chakaka Nyirenda said.
Meanwhile, the claimants lawyer, Oscar Taulo says he will sit down with his clients to map the way forward.
But AG Chakaka Nyirenda says that his office is happy with court for agreeing with his arguments.