Ministry of Higher Education permanent secretary Kayula Siame says UNZA management has not communicated to the ministry about the delayed November salaries.

On Wednesday, the University of Zambia Lecturers’ and Researchers’ Union (UNZALARU) resolved to stop processing examinations until the November salaries were paid.

This was after UNZA managed informed the unions that the institution had not received funding from government for workers salaries.

Further to our earlier communication to the University of Zambia members of staff dated 4th December 2019, the November 2019 salaries are not ready as the funding has not yet been received from the government. However, management is working closely with relevant authorities to ensure that the salaries are paid as soon as funding is received. We regret the inconvenience caused,”management, through the Registrar Sitali Wamundila stated in an updated memo, Wednesday.

But in an interview, Thursday, Siame said she had not been communicated to.

“Why don’t you call management and ask them? Call the Vice-Chancellor.The University of Zambia Vice-chancellor has not called me on this matter,” said Siame.

And in a separate interview, UNZALARU secretary general Dr Kelvin Mambwe said Siame was lying, as members of staff had not received their salaries because of her ministry.

“She is telling lies! I think she should know that government has not released funds to the university which should go towards our salaries. It is very unfortunate that we can have the whole of a PS misleading the nation. It is a fact that government has not released funds and that is why we have not been paid. And this funds we are talking about, it is not just a grant it is money that we have worked for by teaching the students who were told not to pay by the same ministry until their results are out. We are waiting for government to release the monies that they owe the university in order to enable management to pay our salaries because from this end, management is saying they already have the allocation from the internal resources and all they are waiting for is government to release its share which has delayed,” Dr Mambwe said.

“And the information we are getting is that this government is paying off loans at the expense of its own people. All other institutions have been paid apart from these few grant aided institutions such as museums and ZNBC. I am very disappointed with the PS because she knows what is happening. We haven’t been paid because of them so for her to say that she doesn’t know what is happening at UNZA that is very unfortunate it means she doesn’t have intelligence information from these institutions. Management has been trotting to her office so she should know what is happening,”

And Dr Mambwe said government lacked priorities saying what mattered to them the most was the Constitutional Amendment Bill 10.

“What they are doing is very wrong they are selecting which institutions they have to pay because they know that those institutions may have very little teeth to bite. But I should mention that let this government be serious about how it is treating the lecturers in these higher learning institutions. If a government is serious with its priorities, there is no way that they should ignore a human resource development. What they are doing is a danger to our children’s future all because we have a government that lacks priorities. The way they are treating us is very embarrassing and it can only come from a government that does not care about what matter the most in this country. What matters to them the most is the Bill 10. A grant coming to UNZA does not give them a share so they can’t bother about it, it can even be paid at whatever time they can think of paying. And when you have a government that does not put priority in education, that government is not for the people,” said Dr Mambwe.

Efforts to get the UNZA Vice-Chancellor proved futile as his line was unreachable.