THE Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) says UPND made an attractive promise regarding pension reforms, and that as a labour movement, it will continue holding the government to account over it.
Recently, Labour and Social Security Minister Brenda Tambatamba said some progress in implementing pension reforms would be made by the end of this year.
Last year, President Hakainde Hichilema said NAPSA would be reformed to start paying mid term benefits so that contributors don’t have to wait till retirement to access their money.
And in an interview, ZCTU president Chishimba Nkole said the process had to be done in a methodical way so that there were no regrets going forward.
“I think definitely the process has to be done in a methodical way so that we do not make shortcuts. We as a labour movement have also the time to remind the UPND that they made a very attractive promise which has left people waiting. In principle, they have not abandoned that position. Like the Minister put it, obviously, we would have to be steady in the way we make these reforms so that we do not regret having made some mistakes on the way. So all of us are waiting for that period and I am sure it is too early for people to say things have taken long,” he said.
“All the stakeholders, including the NAPSA board, have to participate effectively. Obviously, there has to be legislation and the reforms must ensure that such a concept is put into the existing laws. You know how the law is, there are no shortcuts. So the assurance that I can give you is that all of us have not abandoned that. The government is being reminded and as stakeholders we will have to do our part when time comes. What is important is that that concept has been accepted.”
Nkole said pension reforms were feasible and that the labour movement would continue holding the government to account on their promise.
“When the Minister says it cannot happen so quickly, I think that is meant to say we allow the process to take its course including the amendment of the law. I know that this cannot wait, probably even going to another election. I think we are all determined to ensure that concept is fulfilled. So even from our position, we have been talking and nobody has said that is not the way to go. You know when there is a component of the manifesto of a political party that should be taken very seriously,” said Nkole.
“We shall make sure that we also hold the current government to account because that is what they promised. They promised something that we feel is feasible. It is just a question of saying if we keep quiet, people might not even know that there is a lot of anxiety among stakeholders and the beneficiaries. In short, rest assured that all of us that are concerned and have a role to play we will ensure that this happens correctly.”