Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) Secretary General Cosmas Mukuka says he will not allow government to take the labour movement back to the days when retirees died of stress and desperation while waiting for their retirement benefits.
And Mukuka says once the Constitution Amendment Bill No. 10 of 2019 is passed, the congress fears that it would grant more powers to the Executive and effectively return the country to a one party state.
Meanwhile the ZCTU Secretary General says it is hypocrisy for Christians to pretend that things are okay in the country.
Speaking in Kabwe during a ZCTU Technical meeting last week, Mukuka said he did not understand why the NDF resolved to amend Article 189 that shielded retirees from being destitute.
“We do not understand why the NDF resolved to remove this clause; but what we are sure of is that the move will subject workers to misery and extreme poverty after working hard for the development of this country. We are aware of situations where some civil servants waited for 5 to 10 years before being paid what was due to them. As a labour movement, we are saying no to this injustice which government intends to implement through the Constitution Amendment Bill,” Mukuka said.
And Mukuka said the Constitution Amendment Bill should not be allowed to be enacted because it would increase Executive powers and consequently defeat the separation of powers.
“Worse still, the congress fears that once passed, the revised constitution will increase the powers of the Executive. This is not what the people of Zambia want. Increasing Executive powers will defeat the separation of powers which is meant to ensure that no single arm of government becomes too strong to be controlled. This is a recipe of bad governance,” he said.
Meanwhile the ZCTU Secretary General said Christianity was about courage and Christians should speak out and not be puppets of the system when things went wrong in the country.
“We have raised cowards out of the leaders because people, including those who are in unions at institutional level, fear to talk and as a result they become puppets of the system; ati, kuti baku tanfya inchito (fearing that you may lose your job). Ironically, you find such people praying to God in church. Christians are expected to rise to the challenge and speak out when things are wrong in the country. Failing to speak out and pretending that things are ok in the nation is actually hopelessness and hypocrisy of the highest level,” said Mukuka.