AMZ is currently operating under its Business Continuity Plan which was implemented on 1st April 2020.
Zambia now has recorded 761 confirmed cases of COVID 19 infections, of which 192 have recovered and 7 have died. The government has eased some of the restrictions on certain economic sectors to allow for economic sustenance. While this still poses a risk for an increase in the number of infections, the move is meant to provide support in ensuring the economy is not completely crippled. There has been an increase in the number of cases confirmed in border towns forcing the government to declare a lockdown for the boarder with Tanzania, it is anticipated that this lockdown, if prolonged will have a significant effect on the traders and ultimately the AMZ portfolio for which majority depend on goods routed via the Nakonde border.
AMZ has recently introduced a restructuring plan for its clients in the form of:
1. Increased loan tenure
2. A grace period on repayments
This will be considered on a case by case basis. It is expected that the plan will align with the current cashflows of the clients and that clients will be able to meet their obligations in these unprecedented times.
Should a complete lockdown be announced, AMZ is planning to organize its activities in a manner that will allow for some business continuity with the below measures being considered:
Close all branch operations and have the necessary staff working from home
Stop disbursements completely
Maintain contact with all individual clients, group leaders and Village Bank Presidents through digital and phone channels.
Provide mobile money lines for clients to make loan repayments
Keep all stakeholders informed of any changes on a weekly basis or earlier if required
Ensure safety of all company assets.