Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini has advised Choma Central UPND member of parliament Cornelius Mweetwa to file in a written question through the office of the Clerk if he wants to get answers from the Executive on why salaries for UNZA and CBU lecturers have been delayed.
This was after Mweetwa rose on a point of order seeking the Speaker’s ruling on whether or not the Executive was in order to be seated in the House, quietly, without addressing the challenges facing university lecturers.
Mweetwa also said that the higher learning institutions in Zambia had been equated to Intercity Bus Terminus.
“Mr Speaker, there are worrying trends currently in Zambia. Many things, Mr Speaker, are in tatters. Many institutions of governance, Mr Speaker, have not been paid. To zero down, Mr Speaker, to my point of order, which I consider to be in national interest, Mr Speaker, we saw yesterday through the media at the University of Zambia (UNZA), workers not being paid their salaries, lecturers not being paid their salaries and I am made to understand [that] this is replicated at the Copperbelt University. To add to many institutions that have gone unpaid for example eight months for example National Housing Authority (NHA), a year not without being paid but we have a government of PF,” Mweetwa said.
“Mr Speaker, is this government in order to remain quiet as if it is business as usual when at our highest institutions of higher learning that things have gone wrong, classes are not going on. Workers have just reaffirmed that they are not going to return for work. The university, Sir, from being a centre of service and Excellency now can be equated to Intercity bus terminus where you can’t tell who is going where. Is the government in order Mr Speaker with the severity and importance that should attached to such an institution of learning, to remain quiet and not address this house? Given that the management yesterday tried to negotiate with the workers and the lecturers and they failed. Are they in order to continue this quiet are they are Mr Speaker?”
And in his ruling Dr Matibini ordered Mweetwa to file in a question to the Minister of Finance.
“My ruling is that if you would like to receive a response from the executive ranch of government presumably the Honorable Minister of Finance, ask them questions and they will answer you,” ruled Dr Matibini.