And the unionized council workers countrywide have started their go slow, demanding two months salary arrears.
Speaking at a media briefing in Ndola, yesterday, ZULAWU president Kingsley Zulu said Bishop Chomba lacked the necessary vision to be a controlling officer.
He said there was lack of seriousness on the part of government to address the plight of suffering council workers.
“Tomorrow (today) we council workers are on a go slow for our unpaid salaries. We don’t anticipate that cadres are sent to beat us like what happened in Kabwe. We have never relented calling on government to get rid of cadres in bus stations and markets. So our workers will report but will not do any work. We need to get rid of the cadres so that councils can get enough revenue,” Zulu said.
“Our entry point is the PS, but when we engage him, he is busy saying we are fighting him. PS Chomba is a stumbling block to our progress. We therefore, demand that the Permanent Secretary Dr Bishop Eddie Chomba be removed from the ministry of local government as he lacks the vision of transforming the local government system. Bishop Chomba is a liability to local authorities.”
He said the unionized workers were resolved to withdraw labour.
“Due to the nonpayment of salaries we uphold the resolutions made by our members in withdrawing labour in the councils and that workers will only resume work upon the clearance of the unpaid salaries,” he said.
Zulu charged that officials in government were lazy and not ready to fight for resources from the treasury.
He said Bishop Chomba’s remarks that government is not responsible for paying council workers shows that he does not understand the operations of the ministry.
“You can clearly see that the Permanent Secretary is already bringing the name of the government into disrepute as he is questioning the functions of the commission appointed by the Head of State. The PS also fails to appreciate a number of programs undertaken by government in terms of the decentralization policy in which staffing levels are to be increased. The challenge we are currently facing is that we have been given officials who are lazy and are not ready to fight for resources from the treasury hence threatening councils and want to withhold the already meager resource from the local government equalization fund, Zulu said.
“We had high expectations, but having communicated to the responsible government officials on the resolution made by workers, nothing tangible has been done. The only thing we receive are wrong statements and threats by our Permanent Secretary.”
He asked government to be sensitive to the plight of council workers.
“As a trade union, we wish to express our disappointment on the insensitivity of government on the plight of the workers in the local authorities despite numerous engagements, the government continues to show no interest in finding a lasting solution to the late payment of salaries to employees in the local authorities in Zambia,” said Zulu.