Economist Chibamba Kanyama has urged Zambians to prepare for hard times ahead in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Mr Kanyama said government should manage the impending lockdown which many people are proposing carefully.
He said pictures coming from South Africa of citizens queuing up at malls confirm his fears of a complete lockdown without social analysis of impacts by social scientists.
“Those queues have potential to exacerbate what we are trying to avoid. Where people live hand-to-mouth, total lock down can be dangerous,” he stated.
“Even without the coronavirus hitting this country at the level it has in the West (and we pray it does not spread), lives of people in this country are beginning to take a toll-order,” Mr Kanyama said.
“Entertainment centers closed, restaurants and hotels nearly closed, tourism in lockdown—-people should be prepared for the really hard times,” he said.
Mr Kanyama said leadership should help people prepare themselves adequately so that they remain positive as they find new ways of survival.
“Without doubt, a lot of people will lose jobs or go many months without salaries. This alone has implications on other things: food, rent and school fees.”
He added, “I am very sure that under these circumstances, a country should learn how to suspend obstructions or non-essentials. Politics, for example, should no longer be prominent in any way during this period because we have one big enemy who should bring us together as a nation.”
He said the coronavirus knows no political party or ethnic group and that is why it invaded the palace in England.
“It’s time for dynamic leadership at all levels, including from the business community. We are in it together and we must come out of it together.”