By AARON CHIYANZO
THE cholera crisis has the potential to paralyse the entire economy if not quickly contained as it has negatively affected businesses from SMEs to large corporations, Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) president Michael Nyirenda has warned.
Mr Nyirenda said they were concerned with the cholera situation in Lusaka and other parts of the country due to its negative effects on the economy.
He told the Daily Nation that the cholera epidemic had negatively affected businesses starting from SMEs to large corporations.
Mr Nyirenda warned that the cholera crisis had the potential to paralyse the entire economy if it was not contained on time.
He explained that businesses across all sectors were experiencing huge losses and that this could negatively derail the prospects of the country ranging from economic growth, employment and revenue collection on the part of Zambia Revenue Authority.
“We have seen the closure of Soweto market and several other markets including prominent food and retail stores. This has not only affected agriculture and the agribusiness sectors, but has also affected all other business activities resulting in loss of income,” said Mr Nyirenda. Mr Nyirenda said that Zambian businesses also risked being cut off from other countries due to the cholera outbreak. He pointed out that there were already reports that Namibia had banned food imports from Zambia while there were rumours of cancellations of business visits to Zambia. Mr Nyirenda reiterated that all these signalled loss of market and business opportunities for Zambian businesses.
“As a nation, we must address the root causes of the problem, which range from poorly planned settlements, poor service delivery with respect to water connectivity, sewage management, and waste management and improve service delivery in local authorities,” said Mr Nyirenda.
Mr Nyirenda urged Government to come up with a long-term solution and a consistent policy on street vending and other critical matters in Lusaka, and the country at large in consultation with stakeholders.