Zambia, 10 April 2019
Fight Inequality Alliance is a growing group of leading international and national non-profit organisations, human rights campaigners, women’s rights groups, trade unions, social movements, social activists and civil society organisations that have come together to fight the growing crisis of inequality. Zambia is a subscriber to the universal call to action under the sustainable development goals as defined by the United Nations. The alliance has noted with displeasure the delayed salaries across the public sector.
It is sad that these unprecedented salary delays have reached over a year for National Housing Authority (NHA) workers, 8 months for councils countrywide and more. The lecturers at the two major universities, University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU) have not received their March salaries yet. These delays have paralysed service delivery by the public sector and are affecting the economy negatively. We are therefore concerned that this development has the potential to widen the inequality gap between the wealthy and the poor working class. It also compromises the dignity and the basic human rights of these workers and their families and undermines the progress recorded in reducing the poverty levels in the country.
We receive such news with sadness because cabinet ministers and members of parliament have continued to receive their dues without delay. Even sadder is the amount of money being splashed in Roan and Bahati constituencies in Luanshya and Mansa respectively. Whilst the poor working class are denied their deserved pay, the ruling elite is busy satisfying their greed. We are of the view that if the government doesn’t have money to pay salaries then all the government workers must be treated equally across the board.
The alliance wishes to urge the Zambian government to attend to these salary issues promptly to avoid the worst. In this regard, the alliance will be meeting with the affected workers through their unions to offer solidarity and push for the payment for their members. We will engage both government and the unions whose members are affected by these delays to ensure that the salaries are paid and avoid such delays in future.
Yours in Solidarity
Daisy Lutangu Mwilima