We noted on Monday that Africa could be facing an economic collapse amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At least 54 countries on the continent have imposed lockdowns, curfews, and or travel bans to mitigate the spread of the virus. In Zambia, a country with 17 million people, has shut down casinos, cinemas, and schools to minimize people’s movements.
Police Spokeswoman Esther Mwaata Katongo told Diamond TV Zambia in a local television interview that the police are enforcing a lockdown with hard measures for non-compliant civilians, reported RT News.
“Zambian police have whips. So, if you want to dare authorities, if you want to dare the police, then you are welcome,” Katongo said in a TV interview as she showed off a baton that officers are using.
The host asked Katongo why the police force has adopted such an extreme policy. She responded:
“This is law enforcement. We will whip you. You know, to make you comply. We are directed on how to do the whipping. So we are going to whip you… We tell you not to go there, and you go there, we are going to whip you.”
Zambia’s Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya told reporters on Sunday that there are 35 confirmed cases of the virus in the country with one death.
As we’ve noted in recent weeks, there’s a looming virus crisis in Africa as testing remains lackluster, and the healthcare system is subpar.
Moody’s recent downgrade of Zambia from stable to negative comes as the country’s lockdown risks triggering significant economic disruptions.
As a whole, African countries like Zambia and others could face the evolution of the pandemic, which is social unrest.