Malilo Ngoma aged 43 is a mother of four, two boys and two girls, and wife to a police sergeant in Chingola, a mining district in the Copperbelt province in Zambia.
The couple has been married for the last 18 years and has been living happily with their children. Two of their children are in college while the other two are in grades 12 and 10.
Ngoma, a primary school teacher, is happy that once their third child writes her grade 12 examinations this year, only their last born son will have to be in secondary school for the next two years.
“Our burden of paying school fees was lightened when our firstborn completed her course as a nurse last year. We are looking forward to seeing the remaining three children complete the tertiary education,” she said.
But with the COVID-19 pandemic spreading in Zambia, this has weighed too much on Ngoma’s expectations on when the examinations will be held.
The Zambian government through the Minister of General Education David Mabumba has announced that the examinations dates will be revised to see how best the learners can be given time to cover up for the lost time.
Universities, colleges and schools in Zambia were closed on March 20 when the southern African country recorded the first two cases of COVID-19.
Ngoma is still optimistic that the fight against COVID-19 will be won in Zambia with a population of 17 million people.
She cites China as having managed to fight the virus saying Zambia should learn from the Asian country on how to fight the pandemic.
She is quick to say that her husband is a frontline staff in the fight against COVID-19 as his duty is to ensure the public follow the laid-down procedures and measures to fight the pandemic.
According to Ngoma, she never used to see his spouse put on masks unless she was told that he was attending to a postmortem case.
“My husband could tell me that when attending to a postmortem case at the health institution, we all put on masks,” she recalled.
But, this is not the case as of now as masks have been recommended to be worn in public to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
She says the masks have become part of the police uniform as every day before leaving home, her husband puts on a mask.
Police and health personnel are part of the frontline staff in the fight against COVID-19.
To ensure that the front line staff is protected from the COVID-19, some organizations have donated materials, hand sanitizers, masks and hand washing buckets.
The Chinese business community in the Copperbelt province, have donated the personnel protective equipment and other materials to police in the region.
Wang Xin, Zambia China Association Copperbelt chairman, said the association will support the fight against COVID-19 by supplementing the Zambian government efforts through the provision of materials in the fight against the pandemic.
Wang said the association will continue to support the fight against the virus with various organizations.
“We are going to support the fight and we thought it is necessary to donate materials in the fight against the pandemic to police who are part of the frontline staff,” he said.
According to Wang, the Chinese business community is happy with the Zambian investment policy that has resulted in increased Chinese investment in the country.
The police command in the province has welcomed Chinese support towards the fight against the disease.
Charity Katanga who is police commissioner for the Copperbelt province said Chinese are part of the community in areas in which they operate and their donations will go a long way in protecting the public.
“Your donations are timely and we looking forward to working with you in various challenging situations,” she said.
Katanga said the Chinese have shown their commitment to support and protect the lives of the Zambians.
Japhen Mwakalombe, provincial minister for the Copperbelt province said the Chinese have been supporting Zambia in various sectors, saying the Chinese investment is assured of protection in the country.
According to Mwakalombe, the flow of Chinese investments in Zambia is as a result of the cordial relationship between China and Zambia. Enditem