THE United Nations (UN) has temporarily closed all its premises in Lusaka to visitors and personnel for a period of 14 days after seven of its staff members and dependents tested positive for COVID-19.
And UN National Information Officer Mark Maseko says the closure is meant to strengthen prevention measures against the virus in
Maseko said the United Nations in Zambia has been operating on a reduced physical footprint for all its premises since the activation of its Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
in March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Maseko said since the start of the outbreak, all UN agencies continued their operations in support of Zambia’s development and humanitarian priorities, in the implementation of the Government COVID-19 Multisectoral Contingency and Response Plan, with many of its personnel working under partial or full-time telecommuting.
He said despite implementing all the health measures put in place to prevent the contamination in the workplace, a cumulative total of four (04) UN personnel and three (03) UN dependents tested positive for COVID-19 as of 1 August 2020.
“Against this backdrop, the United Nations will temporarily close all its offices in Lusaka to its
personnel, visitors and the majority of contract workers for a period of 14 days effective 3 August in line with its BCP and in consultation with the national authorities,” said Maseko.
He added that the closure will facilitate necessary additional preventive, protective and tracing measures following a rise in
the number of cases in the UN family in order to mitigate and prevent contamination risks in
English is not a measure of intelligence, let’s embrace use of local languages, Bowman Lusambo
KABUSHI Member of Parliament Bowman Lusambo has suggested that Zambia should embrace the use of local languages in official communication saying English should not be used to measure one’s intelligence.
Mr Lusambo who is also Lusaka Province Minister has also called upon educational authorities to consider extending the teaching of learners in local languages across all Grades.
He said it is unfortunate that many brilliant pupils have failed to progress to University after failing to pass English.
Mr Lusambo was speaking on Saturday when he officiated at the Ndola District Covid-19 Inter-School Debate Contest held at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
Masala High School emerged winners of the contest and walked away with K8,000, a trophy, certificates, learning Martine and T-shirts followed by Kansenshi High School who received K6,000 and a trophy.
“I listened to a lot of good debaters here but unfortunately, some could not express themselves fully because of limited abilities in English. This happens across many other fields in Zambia.”
“It’s regrettable that a young man or young girl would have very good marks in all Sciences and Mathematics but have an 8 or a 7 in English and that pupil will be denied a place at UNZA. Are you telling me that if a pupil can’t pass English then that child is dull?”
Mr Lusambo explained that many advanced nations have embraced the use of their own languages.
“Language is part of our culture. By promoting the use of local languages, we are helping preserve who we are as a people,” he said.
He added,” What we have today is the Queens language, it’s not our language. After many years of Independence, we should be proud of examining our learner in Kaonde, Lunda, Lamba, Tonga, Lozi, Bemba and any of these local languages.
Mr Lusambo also thanked President Edgar Lungu for ordering the reopening of examination classes saying the move was a wise one as it has ensured that learners in exam classes prepare adequately for their exams.
“When His Excellency announced the move, many visionless people including those from the political sector criticized the move but as we speak, all schools went through the full term without recording any Covid-19 cases.”