The newly formed UPND-PF political pact has expressed dissatisfaction at President Rupiah Banda’s national address through his second press conference held at State House yesterday.
The pact observed that the President’s statement that workers in the public service would use up 50 per cent of Zambia’s 2009 budget might displease some citizens.
Opposition Patriotic Front (PF) spokesperson, Given Lubinda argued that one per cent of the country’s population could not consume half of the K10.6 trillion budget.
Speaking at a UPND-PF joint press briefing in Lusaka today, Mr. Lubinda said President Banda’s statement was not fair, adding that it might cause the majority Zambians to rise up against the civil servants.
He stated that Mr. Banda should not have disclosed how much money the public service workers would use up this year following the salary increment of 15 per cent.
On President Banda’s calls for people to sacrifice, Mr. Lubinda said the President should consider reducing his salary to enable poor people meet their daily needs.
He noted the civil servant’s salaries were meager, a situation he said was demoralizing them in their work.
And speaking earlier UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma expressed disappointment at the President’s press conference saying it did not give hope to many Zambians.
He said the President should have restricted himself t addressing issues of striking public service workers.
Yesterday, President Banda addressed a press conference at State House in which he addressed various economic, social and political issues affecting the nation.
Among the issues the President addressed was that of striking civil servants, with whom he pleaded to return to work because government did not have money to meet all their demands.
He said this year, government budgeted to increase public service workers’ salaries only by 11 per cent, which however, unions rejected and settled at 15 per cent.
This overstretched the budget for personal emolument for public workers from K5.1 trillion to K5.2 trillion.