Ex PF Foreign Affairs Minister Writes to Lungu on his tantrum in Bahati.

As I have repeatedly said, am not going to engage in the cheap politics of untruths and character assassination like President Lungu and the team are doing  in Bahati and everywhere he is going. Such a trivial approach to politics is what has brought us to where we are.

A country full of natural resources, a country full of intelligent and hard working people  with great potential to turn this country to a higher middle income and developed country. Yet we have a leadership which is not only corrupt but has no idea of how to manage the affairs of the country and how to develop it given the challenges that we are going through.

I wish our top political leadership could heed to the cries of the people of Zambia, the cries of the workers, the cries of the students, the cries of the unemployed majority and the cries of the church and cries of us all. I wish they could start to reflect, and start working to the dictates of the constitution and the job descriptions and deliver to our expectations.

The Top leadership need to work towards getting our economy from the Intensive Care Unit and render itself  to the advice of civil servant technocrats.

We have a bankrupt treasury, yet President Lungu refuses to accept the inevitable reality and further refuses to conform his lifestyle to the budget. They have instituted austerity measures but they themselves are exempt from these measures.

Leadership is humility, leadership is sacrifice and dying for your people.

President Lungu does not have a heart for that. He believes you and I should sacrifice while he continues basking in a high level life beyond what any president in the region including the Western countries engage in.

We have high unemployment at the rate of 42% at best, which is a national crisis.  The few people we have in formal employment in the government service are not being paid the salaries. Those in the informal sector doing services for government are also not being paid. The Universities are not funded and lecturers not paid.

Government is in clear contravention of its own laws, the Employment Act Chapter 268 of the Laws of Zambia Article 48 number 1 and 2, which state that the wages of an employee shall be due in the case of a contract of service from month to month, on the last day of each month, and in the case of an employee employed on a task or piece work, should be paid on the completion of such task or work. If there is a delay in payment, it should be no later than the fifth day beyond the pay day.

Clearly government is in the wrong with the ZamPost workers, the Kabwe Council Workers and all other council workers not paid. Government is also in the wrong with the Zambia contractors who haven’t been paid their dues years after doing the service.

The President and his Minister of Labour must abide by the laws of Zambia which they have sworn to uphold.  Suspending and threatening workers with expulsion when they make a legitimate claim to their hard earned salaries is not an offence. A hungry man is an angry man. Give them their dues without any threats. You are getting paid and you expect others getting so much less than you to go without salaries for months? If there is no money in the country for salaries, let’s start with denying salaries to the executive.

The closure of the Copperbelt University is unfortunate, uncalled for and very costly to the country. It is affecting the standards and quality of education and the products of the education system. A responsible leadership could have addressed the root cause of the problem. The superficial remedial measures of closing universities and issuing threats do not offer sustainable solutions.

I urge the suffering workers to soldier on. I urge the students to take heart. Let’s continue to dialogue and to demand payment for the work done in peace and harmony.

Together we shall create the Zambia you and I want.

Let’s Believe again…

Harry Kalaba

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