TRANSPORT and Communications Minister Mutotwe Kafwaya says some of the challenges which the Zambia Postal Services Corporation (Zampost) is facing include inadequate working capital and accumulated long term liabilities.
Kafwaya was responding to a question for oral answer from Kapiri Mposhi UPND member of parliament who wanted to find out if Zampost was profitable.
“I wish to inform this August House that the Corporation did not record a profit as at end of February 2020. As at February 2020, the corporation owed its employees three months salary arrears for November and December of 2019 and January of 2020. The Corporation has cleared all the salary arrears. Some of the challenges that Zampost is facing include inadequate working capital, accumulated long term liability such as statutory obligations, including retirees obligation which results in constant litigations. Inadequate investment in technology and government has no plans to privatize the corporation. From my standpoint, Zampost employees have been paid even January 2021 salaries,” Kafwaya told Parliament on Thursday.
When asked by Liuwa UPND member of parliament Situmbeko Musokotwane if there was a relation between Zampost not making profit and the scandal which happened where workers misapplied funds, Kafwaya said he did not have such information.
“Madam Speaker, the profit we are referring to as at February 2020 and that event he has referred to was an operational event which was not the only operation within Zampost. Zampost has a number of operations within itself and some of them arising from strategic arrangements with strategic partners. So when we are looking at its profitability, we are looking at all activities put together. There is always a relationship between the performance of a transaction and with the overall outcome. But to what extent might be the question, that is the information I may not have,” he said
And when asked by Nkeyema UPND member of parliament Kapelwa Mbangweta why parastatal companies which were making losses were being kept despite failure to pay employees, Kafwaya said Zampost would change with time.
“Zampost is paying its workers, it is up to date. The leadership of his Excellency Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu ensured that there were changes made within Zampost to make sure there is sufficient agility, management is sufficient, nimble-footed to act to ensure that people are paid. Changes have occurred within Zampost to assure our workers and all the strategic relationships which were strained at some point are now being straightened. For example, it is able to relate very well with the car dealers they were working with, Western Union and some of the products which were suspended are now operating. These changes instituted by the current leadership are bearing fruit and Zampost should change with time,” Kafwaya said.
And when asked by Keembe UPND member of parliament Princess Kasune if there was a process in place to recover money that was misused, Kafwaya said he did not have the numbers.
“I don’t have the numbers in terms of what could have been recovered and so on. I must say that internal controls within Zampost have been put in place and these internal controls are operating. But internal controls can be beaten by unscrupulous people as the case was in those incidents that have been referred to. However, the process of correcting that has already happened. We have got more healthy, robust internal controls put in place but in terms of what may have been recovered I don’t have the numbers,” said Kafwaya.