BLANTYRE-(Maravipost)-President Peter Mutharika has taken heed to pleas by Vice President Salous Chilima on Sunday for the President to constitute an inclusive task force to spearhead the fight against Corornavirus and to put in place measures to caution the poor and vulnerable groups.
Mutharika on Tuesday delivered a national address in the cover of the night where he announced that he was reconstitution the ministerial commitee and create a presidentail taskforce that will include Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Public Affairs Committee (PAC), medical experts, professionals and other stakeholders.
This was in direct response to Chilima’s plea on Sunday for Mutharika to establish an inclusive taskfore that will gain trust from Malawians in the fight against Coronavirus and use of resources.
“President Mutharika should, for once, demostrate leadership by inviting opposition leaders, civil society leaders, religious leaders, captains of the industry and even celebrities to be part of the national response,” said Chilima on Sunday in a live televised national address.
Chilima had also said the inclusive taskforce was very crucial at this stage as it is clear that majority of Malawians are not trusting information on Covid-19 from government officials which is undermining efforts to fight the pandemic.
” It is clear to everyone that government faces serious deficit of trust among majority of Malawians. The public reaction to information from the government on covid-19 proves one key thing-the public does not recognise the current leadership as a credible source of information,” Chilima lamented.
He said the loss of trust hampers governmentts efforts to fight the pandemic as people can not cooperate and this leads to people ignoring measures to combact the pandemic.
Mutharika has also taken heed to Chilima’s call to put in place measures to caution the poor and the vulnerable before any drastic measures such as lockdown are implemented to combat the convid-19 pandemic.
“Locking people away from their homes without clear and deliberate public health strategy for steering the lockdown is condeminng them to hunger. Majority of people would not sustain themselves during lockdown ,” said Chilima.
Mutharika announced that his government will scale up the social cash transfer programme to target 172,000 poor and vulnerable households who will receive K35,000 per month.
Chilima has received praises by the public for his pro-active role to outline measures that would help the fight against Covid-19 and proposals to government to create an all inclusive taskforce, which Mutharika and his government has taken into account.
Mutharika’s last night address was meant to water down an allowance scandal that broke out on Monday where his cabinet ministers are said to be drawing K450,000 per day and MPs K350,000 for doing coronavirus work.
The scandal broke out despite earlier refutals by Information Minister Mark Botoman and Health Minister Jappie Mtuwa Mhango that the ministers were not receiving any allowance.
A video clip has gone viral where Botoman and Mhango are shamelessly conniving to put a spin to the allowance scandal.