THE University of Zambia Professional Staff Union and the University of Zambia and Allied Workers Union have resolved to withdraw labour until their January and February salaries are paid.
UNZAPROSU and UNZAAWU members who gathered at the university’s graduation square yesterday displayed placards denouncing the University of Zambia management and the PF government stating that if they have failed they should close the higher school of learning to reorganise themselves.
The members denounced their employers and lamented their predicament in songs stating that cockroaches have taken the country backwards.
Playing Petersen’s song ‘Banyandule mwabweza Ziko pansi’ and Peter Kalumba Chishala’s Insala the union members stated that the money for their salaries was diverted the recently held Chilubi parliamentary by-election.
UNZAPROSU general secretary Nalucha Mayamba urged union members to fight for their salaries and that paralysing the university was their only available option.
“Those tasked to run this institution are confused and perplexed including those who are at the ministry. They don’t know what to do, they are confused like a frog stuck in mud, and it is therefore for us to do something,” Mayamba said. “Where we are now is like a game of football. Government and management are leading by 2-0, they have scored through an offside attack. Even VAR (Video Assistant Referee) has shown that both goals are offside but the referee, who is the Labour Commissioner has allowed the goals to stand, so for us we also have to score two goals. If it means getting the ball and running with it up to the goal, we shall do it.”
Mayamba said union members were embarrassed to introduce themselves as members of staff of the University of Zambia because that pride has been stripped off due to perpetual delays in paying salaries.
“We have to do something, we have to paralyze this institution, and there is no beating about the bush. We have people at the Ministry there, banyopola, badya; they have eaten while we are suffering. It doesn’t make sense to talk about K200 million, baleta nkani yamu Kachasu pano [that’s an illicit brew bar talk]. Where is that money, has it been gassed as well? Don’t come and excite us with fake news, we want action. This time around bazachiona [they’ll see].”
And UNZAPROSU president Michael Kaluba who echoed Mayamba’s sentiments said the situation was unbearable and a shame.
He said the government should instead close UNZA and embark on looking for money to properly run the institution once its opened.
“Let them reorganise themselves and see whether they can manage to run this university or not. The idea of subjecting us to slavery conditions is not acceptable, as a union we are not going to accept that. We are slowly catching up with council workers, they also started with one month, and two and it went up. It will be foolish for any union members to work under such conditions,” said Kaluba.