Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has expressed its sadness on people flouting Covid-19 regulations during campaigns ahead of by-elections slated for 30 March.
Through a press statement, HRDC leadership said it is unfortunate that aspiring candidates and political parties continue to bring a lot of people at one place sharing their manifestos.
HRDC’s Chairperson Gift Trapence said the politicians are sending a wrong picture to the public at a time when government is enforcing Covid-19 preventive measures to contain further spread of the virus.
According to Trapence, the politicians are making a mockery to the rule of law as they putting lives of everyone at risk.
“The recklessness by the aspiring candidates and their political parties in flouting the COVID-19 regulations makes a mockery of the rule of law. What message the politicians, indeed, the political parties, sending to all of us by floating the law? That they are special breed of citizens that are exempt from the laws that govern rest of us all?” questioned Trapence.
The statement further reminds the candidates on the adverse effects the pandemic has had on lives of Malawians.
HRDC says time has come now for the citizenry to voluntarily take a part in the process of containing further spread of the virus by fully adhering to all set preventive measures.
“We are all at risk as the pandemic still exists and continues. As such, we would like to caution all interested parties participating in the by-elections to adhere to COVID-19 regulations as gazette,” reads the statement.
HRDC has further tasked Malawi Police Services and Malawi Electoral commission to ensure that the campaign is held in tandem with the COVID-19 regulations and that everyone, regardless of the status in society, adheres to precautions.
The by-elections are expected to be held on 30 March, 2021 in Karonga north west constituency, Ntchisi north constituency, Lilongwe Msinja south constituency, Chikwawa east constituency, Nsanje central constituency and Nsanje north constituency.