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President Lungu has been urged to gradually start reopening key informal sectors

Andrew Ntewewe

President Edgar Lungu has been urged to begin the gradual but cautious reopening of key sectors of the economy during this COVID-19 pandemic period.

In a statement released by Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Government has been reminded that the continued partial shutdown of some sectors continues to adversely affect Zambia’s socio-economic sectors which are vital for national development.

YALI President Andrew Ntewewe said his organisation was alive to the fact that the partial shutdown is having a toll on the ability of citizens to live normal lives and that the effective functioning of the formal sector is directly dependent on a thriving informal sector.

“We recommend the reopening of schools to pupils in examination classes, colleges and universities and the sale of alcohol in bars, night clubs, lodges and hotels with adequate space on a take-away basis,” he said.

YALI said it supported the scaled-up approach by Government based on fact that Government took into account the plight of ordinary Zambians who depended on the informal sector for their daily living.

“It would have been naive for Government to succumb to pressure from those who have never run Government before, to effect a total lockdown based on emotions rather than the evidence-based approach and logic advocated by the President,” said Ntewewe.

Mr. Ntewewe said having seen the evolvement of the pandemic, it was clear that the government strategy was well-informed and intelligent.

“It has become apparent that we all must change our way of life by adopting the new normal as there is no telling when the COVID-19 will come to an end, he said.

YALI has warned that the continued shut down of the informal sector will hurt the Zambian economy further and make businesses fail to survive the post-COVID-19 period.

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Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya

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Source: Lusaka Times