INFORMATION and Broadcasting Services Minister Dora Siliya says effective communication and dissemination of information is key in the fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19).
This is according to a press statement issued by Press and Public Relations Unit at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services.
Ms. Siliya says whilst there are several interventions being put in place, information remains of paramount importance in the fight against the disease.
Speaking at a meeting with the Business Council COVID-19 Emergency Taskforce at her office in Lusaka yesterday, Ms. Siliya said Government is aware that there several parts in the country that need information about the disease.
Ms. Siliya said with a lot of myths and misinformation, there is need to make available to the public, accurate information to avert the further spread of the disease.
She said myths, if not fought, can lead to loss of lives adding that people need to be furnished with correct information at all cost.
Ms. Siliya who is also Chief Government Spokesperson explained that there are a lot of myths around the Coronavirus as people are made to believe that the disease is only for the rich as well as not affecting young people.
“These are serious myths that must be fought immediately and urgently by providing correct information to the public,” she said.
She appealed to the business community to support Government in its efforts to capacitate institutions such as the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) to enable it to urgently get into the community and sensitise them about the disease and how they can prevent its spread.
Ms. Siliya is optimistic that the corporate world will partner with her ministry to ensure effective and consistent flow of accurate information to the public.
“We need the business world and the general public to join hands with the Government in the fight against COVID-19 because this battle is not for Government alone but for all us,” she said.
Ms. Siliya emphasized the need for the public to take action now adding that knowing about the disease alone, was not enough.
Meanwhile, Business Council COVID-19 Emergency Taskforce Chairperson Jason Kazilimani says while the disease has serious effects on the country’s wellbeing, there is need to keep the wheels of the economy running.
Mr. Kazilimani said this why the business community and private sector will work with the Government to keep the economy afloat.
He said the taskforce will ensure whilst the health aspects were being addressed, business continues.
Mr. Kazilimani disclosed that the business community has come together to galvanise resources and funds to be used in the fight against the disease.
He said an account through which all funds will be channeled, is yet to be opened and will be managed by the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA).
He explained that this was to promote transparency and accountability.
And Zambia Information Technology and Communication Authority (ZICTA) Director-General Patrick Mutimushi said working with all telecommunications operators and internet providers, the agency is working on finding means through which information dissemination on COVID-19 can be enhanced but at a cheaper rate.
Mr. Mutimushi said communication through Information, Communication Technologies (ICTs) is of utmost importance in times like these especially that people are being discouraged from having physical interactions.
He explained that ZICTA is working with operators to ensure that people get cheaper internet tariffs in order to keep communication going even when people they are advised to stay home.
Mr. Mutimushi called on the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services to work with the Authority to enhance the flow of information to the public using various ICT platforms.
Zambia has NOT defaulted on any of its foreign debt, Permanent Secretary, Mukuli Chikuba says
MINISTRY of Finance Permanent Secretary, Mr. Mukuli Chikuba has emphasized that Zambia has not defaulted to any of its creditors on its foreign debt.
Speaking in interview Mr. Chikuba said the action taken by government to seek a six months debt repayment suspension was to promote transparency and understanding among EuroBond holders.
“We have paid the debt service repayment due to the EuroBond.” He said.
“Our debt repayment service to the $750million Eurobond was bond two days ago.” He said.
He said Zambia like many other countries, have been impacted economically negatively by the pandemic.
“We have been impacted negatively by the Covid-19 pandemic.” He said.
In April,2020, the World Bank’s Development Committee and the G20 Finance Ministers, endorsed the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) in response to a call by the World Bank and the IMF to grant debt-service suspension to the poorest countries to help them manage the severe impact of the COVID-19.
Mr. Chikuba said to this effect, Zambia has applied for the Deby Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) to the Paris Club to address the challenges that has come with the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the action done by government was to encourage transparency and has taken the initiative to commercial creditors too.
He said hovernment has reached out to the banks and commercial creditors such as the EuroBond holders, to agree on the debt repayment service schedule and seeka six months suspension.
He said after the Notice was deposited on Tuesday, the process will begin on 29th October 2020 to obtain consesus from the EuroBond holders so as to achieve a collaborative agreement on the debt service schedule.
Zambia-Djibouti deepen bilateral relations
ZAMBIA and Djibouti have pledged to deepen bilateral and multilateral relations and cooperation.
Presenting his Letters of Credence to the President of Djibouti, His Excellency Ismail Omar Guelleh, His Excellency Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba said Zambia recognises that Djibouti holds one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes of the world and plays a key role in promoting trade and commerce.
Mr. Mwamba stated that His Excellency President Edgar Lungu had placed emphasis on economic diplomacy and the diplomatic role of Djibouti was paramount to Zambia and Africa.
And President Ismail Guelleh said he was looking forward to visiting Zambia.
He said he last visited Zambia in 2007 and spent time at the Victotia Falls.
He also said Africa continues to take pride in Zambia’s first President and pioneer of the Organization of the African Unity(OAU) and now African Union(AU), Dr. Kenneth Kaunda.
He wished Dr. Kaunda good health and continued long life.
Earlier Mr. Mwamba held a meeting with Djibouti’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Mahmoud Ali Youssouf where they discussed aspects of deepening bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
Mr. Youssouf said Djibouti appreciated the role Zambia played in SADC and the African Union.
He said Zambia was a peaceful and model country that was bringing new ideas and fresh dynamics to the development of the continent through COMESA and other multilateral institutions.
He further hailed Zambia’s Tourism sector that many African countries, including Djibouti would pick lessons from.
This is according to a press statement, Mrs. Inutu Mupango Mwanza, First Secretary (Press and Tourism) in Addis Ababa,
Amb. Mwamba presents Letters of Credence to the State of Djibouti
ZAMBIA’S Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative, His Excellency Emmanuel Mwamba is in the State of Djibouti to present Letters of Credence for his accreditation on behalf of His Excellency President Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
Mr. Mwamba started the process by meeting Djibouti’s Foreign Affairs Minister, His Excellency Mahmoud Ali Youssouf.
Mr. Mwamba is expected to meet the President of Djibouti, His Excellency Ismaïl Omar Guelleh.
Mr. Mwamba is accredited to Ethiopia, Somali, Sudan and Djibouti.
He is also the Permanent Representative tothe African Union(AU) and to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
This is according to press statement issued by Mrs. Inutu Mupango Mwanza,
First Secretary (Press and Tourism).