The UPND has asked the Ministries of Health and Agriculture to conduct a study on the health and social consequences of the foot and mouth disease outbreak in Chisamba saying if not urgently checked, has potential to wreak havoc on the export of meat products.
And the UPND has asked ZAWA to quarantine buffaloes which are suspected to have caused the foot and mouth disease outbreak in Chisamba.
In a statement, Wednesday, Chairperson for Agriculture and Livestock Levy Ngoma expressed worry over the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Chisamba.
“Livestock farmers in Zambia, particularly in Chisamba, Central Province, are grappling with the outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease (FMD). We challenge the PF leadership and Edgar Lungu through the Ministry of Livestock to tell the nation the truth on the source of this deadly livestock disease in Chisamba. We challenge them to deny the consensus that the outbreak of the FMD is not due to Edgar Lungu corruptly permitting one of his close friends to move 18 buffalos to Chisamba farm. We are aware that three of the buffalos are the ones that were gifted to King Mswati of Swaziland and were quarantined in that kingdom after they tested positive to FMD and later brought back to Zambia. As far as UPND is concerned, this is a national disaster and a crisis that has potential to negatively impact agriculture and tourism in the country and all this is because of the greed, impunity and the corruption of the PF leadership,” Ngoma stated.
“Chisamba is the heartbeat of the Zambian beef industry and the decision by the PF to move infected wildlife in an area heavily populated with commercial livestock is dreadful and unforgivable. Our farmers are already struggling due to the disastrous agriculture policies of the PF and they now have to be gifted with the catastrophic dreaded outbreak of FMD, because of President Lungu’s gift of diseased buffaloes to his buddy and playmate who has a farm in Chisamba. We challenge them to deny that and let them also tell the nation where those buffalos that were brought back from Swaziland for testing positive to FMD, have been taken to.”
He asked the Ministries of Health and Agriculture to study the implications of the disease.
“We further challenge the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Agriculture to immediately conduct a longitudinal study to ascertain the health and social consequences of the foot and mouth disease outbreak in Chisamba which if not urgently checked has potential to wreak havoc on the export of meat products. We also call on the Zambia Wildlife Association to immediately move in to quarantine and cull the diseased buffaloes and also immediately designate surveillance zones in order to curb the possible spread further afield,” stated Ngoma.