(By Oswald Sichone in Kafue)
FORMER PF Kafue member of parliament Obvious Mwaliteta says the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia will only function well and make profits when the current management led by Zuze Banda is replaced. In an interview, Mwaliteta, a former Lusaka Province minister but is now UPND Lusaka Province chairman, said the first thing government should do to resuscitate NCZ is to overhaul the factory’s top management.
Mwaliteta stated that the current NCZ management had outlived its usefulness hence the need to bring in people who want to contribute to the development of the nation.
“You can’t have the entire top management on contract. Zuze [Banda] and his group have all retired and gotten their benefits in full. So they don’t care what happens to NCZ because they have enough money to sustain themselves and families for the next five years, even without getting their salaries for one year. But let them think of an ordinary NCZ worker who solely depends on his monthly salary for survival,” Mwaliteta said.
He wondered why NCZ had been operating without a board for over three years now. Mwaliteta said things were bad at NCZ partly because of lack of supervision.
“NCZ hasn’t got a board since 2015, this means permanent secretary agriculture is their supervisor but as you are aware, the PS has many responsibilities and can’t afford to effectively supervise NCZ. IDC is also still in its infancy stage and has got no capacity to carry out the task. This scenario has created an opportunity for managers to do whatever they want,” he said
Mwaliteta further wondered why NCZ had again accrued over K70,000 000 debts in terms of benefits for retirees after the debt was cleared.
“NCZ has gotten back to the way PF government under President Michael Sata found it, with a lot of debts. All I want to tell NCZ workers and retirees is to persevere a bit up to 2021 when they will have a new government, then we will fix NCZ and run it as a business,” said Mwaliteta.