PAY council and other government workers now, demands Hakainde Hichilema.
He says a salary is a human right which must be received on time.
Hichilema asked “the corrupt PF administration” to pay retirees their benefits immediately.
He asked the PF government not to be diverting monies to reward their militias that were harassing, maiming and killing citizens with unbelievable impunity.
“We have noted with dismay the PF regime’s failure to pay council employees and other public sector workers their salaries, allowances and benefits for long periods of time,” he said yesterday. “The current situation indicates that council workers have gone for over three months without pay and yet the PF have funds to bribe voters in unnecessary by-elections.
This is uncalled for and a great injustice to families that are already struggling under the economic hardships brought about by the corrupt and failed PF, Mr Edgar Lungu and his friends. In view of the above, the PF administration should immediately pay outstanding salaries and allowances to all council and other public sector workers who have not been paid. The corrupt PF administration should pay retirees their benefits immediately. Retirees worked for these benefits, in some cases, for many years and the PF must not be diverting these monies to reward their militias that are harassing, maiming and killing citizens with unbelievable impunity.”
Hichilema asked President Edgar Lungu to immediately release the [Local Government] Equalisation Funds and other grants meant to help run the local authorities and other public sector institutions without any further delay.
He said it was absurd for the PF to keep using council, government and other public sector workers without paying them but funding their PF thugs during election campaigns.
“Remove PF thugs from bus stations, markets, taxi ranks and several other public places and replace them with local authorities so as to restore order,” he urged. “This will save the public from the PF thugs’ harassment and being overcharged for using public facilities. Further, this will enable local authorities to properly manage these facilities and collect fair revenue that will facilitate their smooth operations, especially as the rain season draws near.”
Hichilema noted that currently, PF thugs were collecting high and illegal levies from members of the public in the markets and bus station and sharing among themselves at the expense of the councils and the public.
“This lawlessness and violence with impunity must end now. The councils must without further delay reclaim their mandate to properly manage these public facilities and collect fair levies on behalf of our people,” said Hichilema. “As UPND, we would like a situation where ordinary citizens are able to freely use these public facilities without fear of being overcharged, harassed, robbed, beaten or killed by these unruly gun trotting PF thugs.”
Last week, Zambia United Local Authorities Workers Union Copperbelt chairperson Andrew Nyirenda warned of council workers going on a countrywide work stoppage.
He was addressing the media under the theme: “creating an effective local government system for quality service provision through the establishment of a centralized payroll system for local authorities to overcome the late payment of salaries”.
“The Copperbelt is on mulilo (fire)! Play with us and you will see what will happen. We need our salaries,” said Nyirenda.