Malawi’s former President Joyce Banda told a campaign rally on Tuesday that the country has no coronavirus cases and accused the government of “faking” numbers, the privately-owned Malawi24 website reports.
Politicians are out on the campaign trail ahead of a presidential re-run on 23 June after President Peter Mutharika’s re-election last year was nullified by the courts.
Huge political rallies have defied coronavirus prevention measures like social distancing and wearing of face masks.
A recently conducted poll showed that 81% of Malawians are not afraid of coronavirus and are more concerned about hunger.
Ms Banda is quoted as telling supporters in the northern Nkhatabay town that the government should redirect funds allocated to the pandemic to development projects – even though she had accused the government of hiding cases three months ago.
She endorsed opposition presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera.
Malawi has so far confirmed 455 coronavirus cases and there have been four deaths and 55 recoveries.