The University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers Union (UNZALARU) says it will remind UNZA management and the Labour Commissioner that there are procedures to resolve grievances, rather than settling for de-registration.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Labour, through the office of the Labor Commissioner, and the University of Zambia (UNZA) management gave UNZALARU 48 hours in which to show cause why it should not be deregistered for breaching the recognition agreement after the “idiots” remarks.

But in an interview, UNZALARU general secretary Dr Kelvin Mambwe said there were outlined procedures for addressing grievances.

“We are responding to management and in our response, we were telling them that the issue at hand is to do with the grievance. And so management has shown that they have a grievance and our collective agreement provides for procedures for addressing the grievance. That is our response. So, we are proposing that that grievance can be addressed through the necessary procedures that are provided for in our recognition agreement,” Dr Mambwe said.

Asked to clarify if his position was that de-registration was not the way to go, Dr Mambwe replied in the affirmative.

“No [de-registration is not the way to go] , there are procedures to be followed before a union can be deregistered. The recognition agreement is like a marriage certificate which provides procedures on how a grievance between the parties can be dealt with and the Bargaining Unit is a place where such grievances can be dealt with,” he said.

“The procedure is to refer the matter to the bargaining unit where both parties are going to sit down and look at the issue at hand and find an amicable solution. And after that, then we can communicate the outcome.”

And when asked if he would make a public apology following Higher Education Minister Dr Brian Mushimba’s demand, Dr Mambwe said he would only respond after consulting lawyers and the union executive.

“I don’t have any specific comment for now on that because we are still talking with our lawyers and the colleagues in the executive. I wouldn’t want to comment on that for now,” said Dr Mambwe.