Government has released an undisclosed amount of money to pay Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ)workers for their four months salary arrears.
Acting Minister of AGriculture and Cooperatives, Brian Chituwo, assured NCZ workers that they will start getting their four months salary arrears anytime from Wednesday this week.
Dr. Chituwo, who is also Health Minister, disclosed this in Kafue yesterday when he addressed NCZ workers who have been protesting over their unpaid four months salary arrears at the District Commissioner’s office.
Dr. Chituwo revealed that government has set out a plan in which it will resolve the problems of NCZ in three parts, the first of which will be to address the problem of salaries which are expected to be paid anytime this week.
He said the second part is the issue of fertilizer support Programme (FSP, with the third as the recapitalization of the company.
Dr.Chituwo, who was accompanied by Agriculture Permanent Secretary Dr. Sam Mundia, stated that government has heard the cry of NCZ workers and is committed to addressing their problems step by step.
He said once government pays them their four months salary areas, it will also clear the balance of K13 billion for the Fertilizer Support Programme (FSP) where government last year ordered for additional fertilizer.
He also stated that although the K58.8 billion for recapitalization of NCZ is not appearing in this year’s budget yellow book, cabinet has already approved some money and the figure will be known when it goes before parliament.
Dr. Chituwo explained that the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Ng’andu Magande, has been re-engaged to look into the matter so that the parastatal company can be assisted.
He said government will continue to dialogue with NCZ union officials for the betterment of the Comapny.
The Minister however noted that although K58.3 billion may not be enough for recapitalization it is as a sign of commitment by government to sustain NCZ.
And speaking earlier, National Union of Commercial and Industrial Allied Workers Zambia (NUCIAW) president, Seth Paradza, said that workers had entered their seventh day of protests demading to be paid their four months salary arrears because they had no other option of dialoguing with government.
Mr. Paradza expressed happiness that government was finally responding to the problems of the company and reasured that the union will do everything in its power to harmonize relationship of the workers with the state.
You chaps are very silly,all you want arepipo to act and then you pay them.you must have priorities in your management Chituwo and your pals.have time to reflect if you were the one in that position or your blood brother or sister.
A lasting solution would be to draw out a Strategic Plan for the company and reconstitute the Board and management because they have no idea what on earth they are doing.Let it run like a business, manufacture fertilizer, sell it and make sure salaries and wages are paid on time. That is expected of any normal comapny.
Further more the company should not be used for political purposes-i.e dishing out fertilizer during election time and therefore denying the company of income which should go towards meeting salaries and wages.
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