UNITED for Peaceful and Prosperous Zambia (UPPZ) president Charles Chanda says the Patriotic Front government is not doing enough job creation to ease the economic hardships in the country.
In an interview, Chanda said the recent teacher recruitment exercise was merely for replacing teachers who died in service and not the growth of the teaching fraternity.
He said despite President Edgar Lungu’s pronouncement in 2015 and 2016 that his government would create 500,000 jobs, Zambia was still on zero job creation.
Recently the Ministry of General Education recruited 2009 teachers out of 27,000 applicants countrywide who graduated in 2015 and below.
“We have a serious problem when it comes to the creation of jobs. As much as one would say 2000 teachers were recruited, are you aware that more than 2000 teachers died? So there is no recruitment because when you look at the figures, how many teachers have died since the last recruitment? You can even discover that we are in the negative,” Chanda said.
“So there is no effort being made, no schools are being built and that is a challenge. You can’t talk about development…. As far as I am concerned, we are on zero when it comes to job creation. And that is the challenge this government needs to look at, they [PF] are not doing enough to create jobs.”
Chanda also said mine operations in Zambia must be put in order.
“We dependent on the mining sector, so we need to put the house in order of the mining sector because when we think about job creation, we can’t run away, we can’t talk about diversification now. We need to look at what can we do with the mining sector so that whatever benefits we have, we now push them into the economy of this nation, that is true job creation,” he said
Chanda said the mining companies must be compelled to bank their money in the Zambian banks.
He said the move would contribute positively to the Zambia economy as money would remain in circulation.
“As UPPZ, we want to first look at the mining sector. We have things that we need to put in place. There is no way we can allow an investor to make money here, to export our minerals and then he keeps the money overseas. That money needs to come back into the country. It must be put into the Zambian bank not in a foreign bank, no, no,” said Chanda.
“It is carelessness; how can you give all the mines to the foreigners? It doesn’t make sense. Who can justify that you can give an emerald mine to the foreigners. There is no process to emerald it is just digging, you mean we can’t dig?”