The absence of social services in Lusaka during the festive season has angered many residents who feel that they are not being fairly treated.
Notable business houses which completely shut off their services during Christmas and New Year celebrations include chemists, laundry, shops and some supermarkets which only operated for a few hours.
One disappointed Lusaka resident Moffat Banda said he frantically tried to buy an essential drug for his sick mother but found all major chemists in the central business district closed.
“I could not believe what I saw. All major pharmacies were shut, keeping life-saving drugs locked up. What kind of service is this? It is not that we are getting these drugs for free and someone should tell chemists owners that they are not doing us a favour,
“We are the ones doing them a favour. Honestly how do they lock up drugs because it is festive season? Do people not fall sick during the same season? This should be stopped,” said Mr Banda.
Another disappointed resident Ms Maureen Chanda said she had hoped to do some shopping during the festive season because she was sure there would be no large crowds around but she got a shock of her life.
“I found most of boutiques in the town centre shut. I could not believe what I was seeing. I thought that was the time for shops to make a bit more money but they all decided to shut down,” she said.
She was equally shocked to notice that even big departmental shops such as Shoprite had cut down the number of hours of business.
“Imagine even butcheries were shut as if people had stopped eating during holidays .The only butcheries operating were those in townships and some of them are not that clean,” said Ms Chanda.
Ms Chanda said Lusaka was such a disappointing city in the world where business completely comes to a halt during holidays.
“I think that Lusaka City Council should move in and educate these business houses that they have a responsibility to offer services to residents even during holidays because somehow life must go on,” she said
However business was usual at Lusaka’s Soweto and City markets where trading remained normal during the holidays.