NGO cites loopholes in Covid-19 fight

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SANFROSSA MANYINDA writes
@sunzambian

THE continued illegal operation of bars and night clubs is a result of communication breakdown between the Central Government and councils, Change Mindset Zambia has said.
According to Change Mindset Zambia, Ministry of Health during routine updates on covid-19 usually attributed the surge in infections to large gatherings and failure by local leaders to effectively implement preventive measures in public places, bars inclusive.
Executive Director, Geoffrey Musonda, told the Daily Nation in Kitwe, therefore, that lack of communication between Central Government and the councils was making the fight against covid-19 difficult.
“Lack of proper communication between the two parties is what has caused bar owners to remain operational without fear,” he said.
Mr Musonda said that there was need for the Central Government to work hand-in-hand with the councils in ensuring that the surge was mitigated by sensitizing people.
He said that the two parties also needed to maintain the laws that were put in place and avoid issuing contradictory statements which he said gave offenders the leverage to do what they felt like at any given time.
Mr Musonda observed that the two parties were not speaking with one voice in enforcing the laws.
“It is very worrying to note that the numbers are increasing due to large gatherings like bars which are supposed to be closed.
“This is a big problem because the public may think councils are not doing their best in making sure that bars remain closed not knowing that higher offices somehow do not give local authorities the power to deal with such issues. This can be seen through differences in statements,” he said.
Mr Musonda challenged the Central Government to give more autonomy to the council in dealing with preventive measures.

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