Police, MDF pledge to respect human rights during COVID-19 Lockdown


By Manasse Nyirenda, MANA

Acting Inspector General of Police, Duncan Mwapasa and Malawi Defence Force Commander, General Peter Namathanga have assured Malawians that their rights will be respected in the enforcement of National Lockdown that comes into effect from Saturday midnight.

Acting IG Duncan Mwapasa

The two law enforcement agencies were speaking on Thursday at a press briefing at the National Police Headquarters in Lilongwe to orient Malawians on how the two agencies will enforce the Lockdown aimed at curbing the spread Coronavirus (COVOD-19).

While assuring Malawians that enforcement of the Lockdown will be done according to the dictates of the law, Mwapasa asked Malawians to comply with the guidelines and adhere to one of the preventive measures of staying at home. 


“We will work in compliance with human rights,” he said. “However, in some cases where we are required to use force to arrest the situation, the police officers may use minimal force as prescribed in the law.”

Commenting on how markets will be managed, Mwapasa said, while the main markets such as Lilongwe and Blantyre will be closed, sub markets in the locations will still be open within a prescribed time to serve the people.


“Local markets such as Area 25 will be open from 6am to 2pm every day. Once people have bought their necessities, they are requested to go back home and avoid unnecessary travel.

Coronavirus alert

“We do not expect somebody from Area 25 to go to Kawale market. That will not be allowed,” Mwapasa said.

On his part, the MDF boss General Namathanga said his officers would assist the police to ensure that the Lockdown is enforced. 

Coronavirus alert

Namathanga also asked Malawians to follow the guidelines prescribed by health experts such as hand washing and social distancing to be safe.

Malawi has recorded 16 cases of Coronavirus and two deaths. Across the world there are now over 2,069,819 confirmed cases of the virus with over 137,000 deaths.