PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says citizens, including those working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, must work hard so that the country’s economy is not negatively impacted.
The President cautioned that “working from home” is different from “staying at home”, and, therefore, citizens working from home must use the available ICT tools and work hard rather than deciding to abandon work.
He said from last year’s experience, many citizens who were asked to work from home decided to stay at home and abandoned work.
The President said abandoning work when allowed to work from home will not just negatively affect productivity but will impact, negatively, the country’s economy.
“Whether you are in informal or formal sector and you have been made to work from home, work the way you would work at your place of work apply seriousness for what you do despite operating from home.
“Those who are positive with covid-19 but are asymptomatic or are showing little symptoms must equally work hard from home and must not abandon the work they do. Do your normal chores, while observing the recommended health guidelines,” the President says.
And the President has encouraged people engaged in farming to ensure they visit their farms regularly, despite the surging cases of ,COVID-19, so that the country continues to do well in food production and security.
He said like all citizens, farmers need to observe the COVID-19 health guidelines of wearing masks, social distancing, hand sanitising, and steaming
among others, but should not abandon their fields.
President Lungu said he visited a farm recently where owners had not been to their field in fear of the COVID-19 pandemic and in their absence army worms attacked their produce.
The President adds that the World Bank’s Enabling Business of Agriculture 2019 (EBA19) Report, launched last Thursday, places Zambia third in Sub Saharan Africa, among the top countries that are encouraging the private sector to invest in agriculture.
“My government has done very well in regulations relating to speedy supply of seeds, registering fertilisers, securing water, sustaining livestock and accessing finance, among other thematic successes, and hence scoring 63.73 from a possible 100, which is way above the regional average,” the President says.
The President adds, “Therefore, this is a big score by Zambia as we are only behind South Africa and Kenya in Sub-Saharan Africa, and this is because of administration’s performance in Agriculture.
We can only push ourselves to be the best, but if we renege because of covid-19, agriculture production will drop and the consequences on the economy and our people will be dire,” he said.
The President adds, “, therefore, want to encourage all households to work hard amidst the covicd-19 pandemic and engage in some farming activity so that we end hunger and create capital for ourselves from the surplus that we Produce.
This is according to a statement issued by special assistant to the President for press and public relations Isaac Chipampe.