Saturday, June 22, 2024

Government’s Approach to the COVID-19 Fight is Detrimental to the Security of all Zambians

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By Dr Nevers Sekwila Mumba President, New Hope MMD

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I made a statement on behalf of the New Hope Movement for Multiparty Democracy in which I stated the following:

Firstly, we pledged that the New Hope MMD shall stand shoulder to shoulder with government in the COVID-19 fight to keep the Zambian people safe. We encouraged the government to stop at nothing in ensuring that we do not allow the virus to spread as we do not have neither the capacity nor the resources to deal with a fully blown pandemic. Secondly, we stated our position that the Country needed to go on a complete lockdown for a few weeks to ensure that we keep Zambians out of any possible danger.
I wish to restate that our position remains the same today as it was then on both fronts.

On the first commitment we made, we have initiated a community based program in Kalikiliki Compound under the banner of the Zambia shall be saved foundation in partnership with the MMD to supply masks, water tanks, sanitizers and antibacterial soap. We have so far serviced one hundred households with a view of servicing two thousand households by July. We shall continue to work in this community until the country is out of danger.

On the second commitment, we have insisted that only a complete lockdown will save lives in our country. To the contrary, government has opted for half measures that in our view continue to compromise the security of the citizens of this country. A quick check, around Lusaka, one realizes that the measures being recommended by government are of no effect as many Zambians have continued with life as usual, and this was our fear thus having recommended for a total shutdown. Most of our poor brothers and sisters have no money to buy face masks and their circumstances do not allow for social distancing. We are sitting on a time bomb.

In the last Presidential address Churches were given the freedom to start meeting of course following the ministry of health guidelines. Yesterday, the president unlocked Gyms, Casinos, Restaurants and school examination classes. In the same address the President hinted that the worst of COVID-19 could still be ahead of us. He further stated that he anticipates the worst economic outlook for Zambia in the months that lie ahead. The question all Zambians are asking is, Why against such a gloomy back ground are we then opening up the country instead of tightening the reins?

While we respect the position of Government on how they wish to fight this disease, we would like to state that, this approach is detrimental to the security of all Zambians. We salute the Church which in a chorus thanked the president for allowing them to meet and yet they resolved to keep the doors of their churches closed in order to protect their flocks. We would like to strongly advise the Restaurant owners and other business houses to consider to wait for the flattening of the curve before they open up their spaces for business. We know these are not easy decisions but these are no easy times either. We must bite the bullet and wait for the waters to rescind before we jump out of the ark. Life is more precious than profit.

Today’s update on Covid 19 is one of the most horrific so far for our country. Just yesterday the Repuplican president gave the nation such assurances about the situation and went on to relax the measures that government has put in place so far to help us fight this vicious enemy.

We are concerned that firstly Nakonde which has recorded 76 cases is a very significant town to the social-economic life of our country. Many small scale and medium scale traders arrive and leave from Nakonde daily in search of a better life. These business people go to all parts of our country with their wares. This could easily mean that the virus has been transported all over our nation as it would have attached itself to all kind of material.

So we could be facing our darkest days in the months ahead.

We, in the MMD have been very consistent in advising government to lockdown the nation especially the epicenters. We have further pledged that we shall support the government in the efforts to fight this virus. It is clear that on the issue of a lockdown, we see things different. It is unfortunate that as an opposition leader I have no easy access to the President or his ministers. There is also no round table around which we can float our views for government’s consideration. Our only option is to write open letters to the President in the hope that he can somehow catch wind of it.

The president himself indicated that our worst days with CoronaVirus are ahead. In view of the forecast and todays picture, we insist that it is not too late to undertake drastic measures and reverse the relaxation of the measures. We suggest the following

1. Put the epicenters on complete lockdown until it is safe.
2. Increase daily screening and testing. Let us use the GeneXpert testing that the minister of health referred to as this is available country wide.
3. Provide all our health workers from the cleaners all the way to the hospital managers with enough and complete PPEs

As the old adage goes, a stitch in time saves 9. We have delayed to put in a stitch but still 3 stitches will save 6. We are racing against time.

It is critical that the president retakes the ship and give the nation direction.

I remain deeply disheartened at the course the fight against COVID-19 has taken. Mr President, again, please lockdown the epicenters as a matter of urgency. We further demand that both the Nakonde and Chirundu borders be closed closed.

I thank you and may God bless and protect our Nation.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Lamentations won’t help.
    Only military personnel can control coronavirus in Zambia. Get soldiers out on the road.

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  2. I now can see that mumba did live in diaspora for a very long time. It will take years before the diaspora bug of being sadist and continuous critic of government is treated. There is still no known vaccine for this bug. If there was we would treat the sadist diasporans here too.

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  3. Dr Mumba is being opportunistic. He is right by large, except he has failed to grasp President Lungus’ predicament.

    It’s economic, keeping the economy floating. You’ve made NO suggestion on economic policy the President can follow no wonder a round table is considered a total waste of time. You and HH, need to stop self agrandising, politiking and stop spreading hysteria.

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  4. Dr. Mumba my Man of God… please give us hope not fear and hopelessness… I don’t comment on your posts as you are my respected Man of God, but today I’m prompted cause you have putting fear in us instead of hope!!! New Hope MMD!!!

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  5. Ba Mumba should realise that right now, the whole world is emerging from self-inflicted lockdown and finding alternative means of adapting to the circumstances. We can’t afford to be left behind. We have to move in line – regionally, continentally and globally. The government may listen to advice from within the country but certain decisions will have to made in accordance with the global situation.

  6. Mwaice Sekwila, don’t jump on the Hakainde bandwagon.Political parties should shelve their colours and wrap themselves in the Zambian flag and channel their contributions and efforts through government agents.Emulate Jack Ma. Did you see him personally distributing anything in Kanyama?

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  7. Locking down the epicenters is welcome but it has to be balanced with the economic and financial -well being of the Zambian masses. If Lusaka is locked down people who survive on hand to mouth income shall have no food and other needs. Are we readily prepared to provide food and other needs to these have-nots of Lusaka? If not then we should let Lusaka open while adhering to the preventive and Mitigation measures put in place. A hungry person is an angry man. Let us be very careful in the way we proceed. Look at USA, its the same dilemma they are in…to provide for the have-nots. So they have embarked on cautious opening-up of the country. LET US BE VERY CAREFUL.

  8. Really disappointed with Mr Mumba. No wonder some people can’t be President of a country. How can you prioritize politics in everything? Very surprising. If you have nothing to talk about you would keep quiet. You and your family are still enjoying the money you amassed from Canada. Do also think of what people in Bulimbo and Mpyana Bwalya villages are eating? Rubbish.

  9. You can not advise thick morons who do things in reverse…how stupid can someone (Lazy Lungu) be to announce relaxing of lockdown only for his health minister to announce 3 deaths and 85 new cases. It can only mean one thing you have poor advisers, lack independent consultants/civil servants on your team.

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  10. You are spot on Dr. Mumba. It was careless for the State to open up the Economy. What is the use of opening casino’s and then closing Nakonde boarder Post

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  11. Mr mumbas advice is irrelevant,recently he was helped by the government a vehicle due to poverty approaching at his door step.today he wants the government to close all borders forgetting were he’s help came from. Sit down you are not helping the government at all with your advice

  12. The results in Nakonde were not as a result of President Lungu relaxing of some measures! People must not over generalize about President’s statement.

  13. Zambia and Africa in general does not need western democracy, what we need is one party participatory democracy with with a clear succession plan, strong governance institutions and zero tolerance to corruption.
    This will eliminate the tribal alignment to political parties and the politics in this era will be development oriented. If China, has taken this route, it was going to be a big third world country with fragmented society today.
    Imagine, Zambia and all its leaders today sitting in one meeting discussing how to end load shedding, how to enhance production in agriculture, mining etc?

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