The University of Zambia and Allied Workers Union (UNZAAWU), says it is disappointed with government’s failure to pay National Museums Board (NMB) members their salary arrears.

In a statement (UNZAAWU) general secretary Moonga Mupuna said the union was frustrated that government was avoiding paying NMB workers when the workers worked for nine months without getting paid in 2019.

“As UNZAAWU, we are greatly disappointed and frustrated that government is trying by all means to avoid paying the National Museums Board workers salary arrears owed to them. We are talking about nine months of working without getting a salary in the year 2019. As a union we tried to engage the Ministry of Tourism Permanent Secretary and the Minister, Honorable Ronald Chitotela. We also wrote to the Secretary to Cabinet. Our members went as far as writing to the Republican President in which they requested him to intervene, but unfortunately that effort did not yield any results,” Mupuma said.

Mupuma said the members had resolved to hold a sit in protest country wide with effect from 19th March 2021 until the worker’s demands were met.

“What is more surprising is that the same Ministry responsible for NMB workers and is claiming to have no money, [recently] empowered artists with K30 million to entertain themselves, while the people sweating and toiling for this Ministry need only K15 million to clear the backlog of arrears,” said Mupuma.

“The misplaced priority of paying artists is a clear indication of how the Ministry of Tourism lacks seriousness with regard to attending to the plight of workers. They cannot extend an olive branch to the artists before addressing the serious in house challenges of paying workers their money. As a matter of fact, we would like to inform the Ministry of Tourism and government at large that our members have resolved to go on a sit in protest country wide with effect from 19th March 2021 until their demands are met.”