KABUSHI PF member of parliament Bowman Lusambo says when it comes to fighting COVID-19, human rights are suspended.

And Lusambo says there is currently no need to lock down the Lusaka Province as government’s measures are effectively containing the Coronavirus spread.

Speaking when he donated assorted items to help fight COVID-19 in Kabushi constituency on Sunday morning, Lusambo insisted that he would whip anyone he found drinking in a bar.

“So I have heard people say human rights, human rights, there is nothing like human rights now. I find you in a bar, timenya (we beat). Dare me and see what will happen. There is this human rights talk, to us, that is nothing. This is a serious fight that we have. So go in a bar and we find you, timenya,” Lusambo said.

“In Lusaka, we will not compromise. So here in Kabushi, these same human rights activists, come and go in a bar, you will see what we will do to you. Timenya, nothing like human rights here.”

And Lusambo said there was no need to lock down Lusaka.

In an interview, Lusambo said the current measures to contain COVID-19 were adequate.

“Issues to do with locking down Lusaka, first and foremost, the President gave us measures and these measures we are still enforcing; we will continue reviewing these measures. When we review and we know that out of four or five measures, the three are not applicable to our people, then we will review now what will be our next step, that’s when other options will come in. But as we stand now, the only issues to address, now, is how are we going to implement these measures because the President has already given out the measures,” Lusambo said.

“The other issues, which we are discussing and discouraging our people to do is to make sure that they practice social distance and those people who are in other areas like Copperbelt, Southern Province, Eastern Province, Western, Northern and Luapula provinces, those people who have nothing urgent to do in Lusaka, we are trying by all means to encourage those people to stay in those provinces because we know that Lusaka is the epicentre and we don’t want this disease to spread to other provinces, we want to contain this disease as government. Zambia is a landlocked country and since the countries surrounding Zambia have locked down, I can assure you that, in principal, Zambia is locked down. The issue with Lusaka, the Ministry of Health and the team have zoned risk areas like George Compound, Ibex Hill, Eureka, Lilayi, Chaisa and Emmasdale, these are the risk areas, which they have identified and the Ministry of Health are monitoring the situation in this risk areas.”

He added that Coronavirus could be contracted by anyone, regardless of social and economic status.

“You know how this disease has destroyed the world, the economy of this world will never be the same again, people have died, powerful countries with sound economies have cried because of this COVID-19. So, it is not a disease to play with and I want to clarify one thing, there is this notion out there that this disease is a disease for the rich. This is not a disease for the rich, it is a disease, which anyone can have, domestic worker, a charcoal burner, anyone can contract it so our safety is to make sure that we tell the people the truth about this disease, and the truth is that this is a disease, which can be contracted by any human being. And what we are fighting, now, as a country. We don’t want this disease to now be human-to-human, when it comes to that level, I can assure you that it will be very difficult for us. We have managed to contain the disease because the cases are traceable and mostly imported cases so far. So, I want to urge my people, especially here in Lusaka, to take extra caution towards this deadly disease,” Lusambo urged.

Meanwhile, Lusambo, who is also Kabushi PF member of parliament, emphasised the need for people to stay home to avoid spreading the disease.

“For those Lusaka residents with nothing to do in our CBD (Central Business District), nothing to do in our shopping malls, nothing to do in our markets, nothing to do in our suburb shops, even just loitering in our streets, in our suburbs, we are encouraging those people to stay at home. Stay at home campaign is there and we are encouraging media, like yours, to play a very big role to make sure that we sensitize our people to make sure that our people’s minds can change. What we are fighting for now is a mind-set, we are fighting hard to make sure that we have our people’s minds to change and it’s very difficult to change an adult’s mind, but we are trying by all means. In terms of family set-up, we are encouraging at a family-level to make children also sensitize the people out there because COVID-19 is not a government alone responsibility, it’s a community responsibility, at family-level responsibility. So, we are in it together,” said Lusambo.

“You know, the disease we are dealing with, COVID-19 sometimes can be disastrous. It doesn’t mean that we have recorded zero new cases for the past three four days then everything is normal; it is now the time to up our game. It is the time to make sure that we adhere to the measures, which the President gave us, we continue monitoring the tips from the Ministry of Health so my advice to the residents of Lusaka out there, it is not a celebration that the days we have not recorded any new case, it is a time to work extra hard. We need to be very careful, we need to practice all the tips that are coming from the Ministry of Health: no hugging; no kissing; no shaking of hands; put on your mask; put on your gloves; use [hand] sanitiser and soap to avoid contracting this disease.”