Malawi musicians question why politicians flout ban on large crowds
RUSTENBURG - Musicians in Malawi are questioning why politicians are freely holding campaign rallies with large crowds, when there is a ban on all gatherings of more than 100 people as a precautionary measure against the Covid-19 pandemic, local media reported.
According to news website Maravi Post, gospel singer Thocco Katimba said he had observed with disbelief how politicians, including the country’s leaders, conducted rallies and whistle-stop tours during the presentation of nomination papers for the country's July 2 presidential election.
"I have observed with keen interest how politicians have handled their affairs. I have seen that they are not observing social distancing at all. They are running their businesses as usual," Katimba wrote on Facebook.
"My question is; is the pandemic over? I guess in all fairness, authorities should as well allow us musicians to hold shows as many of us rely on live shows for our daily bread. Can you please help us?"
Black Missionaries Band manager Ras Ray Harawa said artists had been effectively without a major source of income now for two months.
President Peter Mutharika banned public gatherings of more than 100 people in March, and when the southern African country reported its first Covid-19 case on April 2, this was tightened to a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people.
Mutharika declared a 21-day lockdown from April 18 to May 9 to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but this was not implemented after a court challenge.
Local media have reported a general failure to adhere to physical distancing and hand-washing rules at political rallies.
The Nation newspaper reported that while water, soap and buckets were provided during the recent nine-political party Tonse Alliance rally in Mzuzu, a majority of the people present did not bother to use them.African News Agency