Newstead Zimba rebukes opposition parties for boycotting May 1 celebrations
Former Labour Minister in the Frederick Chiluba administration, Newstead Zimba says opposition leaders who boycotted yesterday’s Labour Day celebrations should consider themselves irrelevant.
Mr Zimba noted that Labour Day is a platform where Union labour leaders, leaders of political parties have an opportunity to meet government leaders to share and exchange ideas on how to tackle challenges faced by public service workers.
Mr Zimba, who was also Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) General Secretary, said Labour Day is not only for government and the labour movement to celebrate but for all because it is commemorated world-wide and Zambia is not an exceptional.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka today, Mr Zimba who also served as Information Minister took a swipe at the opposition political parties who conspicuously absented themselves from the Labour Day celebrations despite being invited by government to be part of the event which cut across party lines.
“First of all, why stay away from such a national event, staying away means opposition parties should declare themselves irrelevant because Labour Day is not only for the government but for all of us,” Mr Zimba said.
The former ruling party, Movement for Multiparty Democracy-MMD, United Party for National Development-UPND, National Restoration Party-NRP, Alliance for Democracy and Development-ADD, United National Independence Party-UNIP, Forum for Democracy and Development-FDD and Heritage Party were all missing at the event.
The only political party present at the celebrations was the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) with some members clad in the party regalia and gave solidarity of the national event.
Secretary to the Cabinet Evans Chibiliti revealed that he invited all the opposition political parties and regretted that the opposition did not honour the invitation.
Yesterday Zambia joined the rest of the world in commemorating the Labour Day.
Republican President Michael Sata graced the event in Lusaka where he said his administration will target youths in job creation because they make up 68 percent of the Zambian population and constitute a larger number of unemployed people in the country.
This year’s Labour Day was commemorated under the theme “enhancing workers’ rights for sustainable national development”.