Government has banned ministries and other government departments from buying designer suits for Labour Day celebrations as part of austerity measures.

In a Cabinet Circular directed to all Heads of Government Departments, Monday, Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet Patrick Kangwa also directed that the number of people designated to march be streamlined, citing fiscal challenges.

He ordered that instead of designer suits, civil servants should wear branded shirts or chitenge material.

“As you are aware, Zambia joins the rest of the world in celebrating the International Labour Day on 1st May, 2018 under the theme ‘Building Partnerships for Sustainable National Development Through Decent Job Creation and Social Justice’. The day provides an opportunity for workers to express their rights and freedom of association. You are, therefore, encouraged to take part in the celebrations and the march on 1st May, 2018. However, I wish to remind all ministries and other spending agencies that Cabinet Office Circular No. 4 of 2016 is still in effect as was indicated last year through Cabinet Office Circular minute of 2017 dated 13th April, 2017 until otherwise. This is due to the current fiscal challenges the country is facing and in line with cost saving measures that His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu announced at a Special National Press Conference held on the 26th November 2015. It has therefore been found necessary to give guidance to all public institutions participating in the Labour Day Celebrations regarding Labour Day attire,” stated Kangwa.

“The attire for Labour Day therefore, should be corporate work uniform or branded shirts/t-chirts or national dress (chitenge). Note that designer suits shake not form part of the attire for the marchers from the Public Service. Further, the number of matchers should be streamlined. These measures are intended to keep costs of participation to the minimum in view of the limited fiscal space. All addresses are urged to ensure that the contents of this circular are strictly adhered to.”