Estranged Vice-President Saulos Chilima yesterday accused Minister of Health Jappie Mhango of concentrating on his campaign for Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) presidency instead of strategising on how to prevent coronavirus pandemic from getting into the country.
In his address during a news conference from the UTM Party’s digital communication command centre in Lilongwe yesterday monitored on Zodiak Broadcasting Station television, the Veep said by engaging in MOC polls, Mhango showed that
he was not serious on protecting people from the outbreak in his capacity as health minister.
Chilima, who is also president of UTM Party, said: “On political leadership in the Ministry of Health, I do not want to say much as this may be misconstrued as a personal attack.
“But allow me to ask President [Peter] Mutharika this question. Does he know that while all ministers of health in the world were either fighting coronavirus or preparing for it, his Minister of Health, instead of rallying his troops and marshalling State resources to fight this pandemic, was busy campaigning to be the president of the MOC as late as a few weeks ago?
“Mr. President, do you think this person understands the enormity of the task of protecting millions of your people? Is this the time to be doing petty sports politics? Does he have that luxury?… These jokes must stop. We cannot afford this silly humour when lives of Malawians are at stake.”
Mhango was not available for comment yesterday.
The minister was elected MOC president unopposed two weeks ago during the organisation’s elective annual general meeting (AGM) in Mangochi after serving as general secretary in the previous term.
Malawi has so far registered eight coronavirus cases and one death.
Globally, as of yesterday the pandemic had claimed about 82 000 lives and registered over 1.4 million cases.