Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Government dismisses 18 state advocates for engaging in illegal industrial action

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One Zambia , One Nation

Government has with immediate effect dismissed 18 state advocates for engaging in what it described an ‘‘illegal industrial action’’ demanding K3,600 non practicing allowance which is said to have been abolished.
Ironically, of the 18 dismissed state advocates, 16 are female lawyers.

For the past two weeks the state advocates were reporting for work but did not attend to cases or go to court which resulted in cases being adjourned and piling up at the ministry.

According to a letter signed by Ministry of Justice permanent secretary in charge of administration Joseph Akafumba and given to the 18 affected government lawyers yesterday afternoon, the lawyers were dismissed for their illegal industrial action and for demanding K3, 600 non practicing allowances.

Non-practicing allowance is a fee paid to lawyers in government as an incentive for them not to engage in private practice or payment for foregoing private practice.

The non-practice allowance is the diference between learner legal lawyers and qualified lawyers and the advocates had been receiving the allowance until September when it was suddenly abolished.

The lawyers are wondering why government had decided to abolish the K3,600 non-practicing allowance without giving any explanation for the decision..

And the state advocates told the Daily Nation that it was unfair for government to dismiss the lawyers because it had not handled the matter in the way it handled issues to do with Konkola Copper Mine and striking nurses.

They complained that government was ready to entertain demands for higher wages from politicians and senior officers and that some people within the ministry were receiving higher wages than what they were demanding for.

They wondered why government treated the advocates in such a harsh manner when it was spending a lot of money on people that were not doing most of the work.

The lawyers demanded for K3, 600 non- practicing allowances but the ministry of justice was not ready to enter into bargaining with the lawyers resulting in the advocates boycotting court sessions.

However, when contacted for comment the secretary to Akafumba at the ministry of justice said the permanent secretary was not in the office as he was attending a meeting at the Judiciary.

And a senior lawyer at the ministry told the Daily Nation that it was unfair for the permanent secretary to dismiss the lawyers for demanding such a little amount of money.

“We have heard about the dismissals and we are yet to find out what exactly happened. As advocates that have served in government for some years, we feel the step taken by the permanent secretary was a rushed decision. The permanent secretary should realise that the number of lawyers in government is less compared to the number of cases that we have. This action will add more pressure to other people that were working which will end in undesirable results.

“As lawyers it is very rare that we resort to industrial action because generally lawyers are in management and management never goes on strike. Even for unionised workers who are allowed to go on strike, there are procedures to follow. If the said lawyers were demanding for those monies, it is right and justified because that is their entitlement and if anything this money is just too little, we would like to appeal to the minister to intervene in the matter by cancelling the dismissals,” he said.The senior advocate said the move set a very bad precedent and hoped that the permanent secretary would talk to the lawyers and resolve the issue.

21 COMMENTS

  1. More money in your pockets and more jobs in the first 90 days of PF rule!! Even lawyers were duped….Now it is less money or get fired,

    • 90 days has come and gone, but the promise of more money is slowly going in the opposite direction i.e. less money in the pockets. Careful with what you wish for and ask for as you may just be given just that.

  2. Talk to the lawyers,the president is against such actions.Remember when KCM tried to dismiss 1500 worker,the president said “don’t even dare to fire even one worker”

  3. Zambians!!! You do complain a lot and yet given a bye–election, you still vote for this useless dysfunctional PF government. You really do disgust me!!!

  4. Well go out and form law firms and see how harsh cairo road is….your positions will be occupied by others who have jsut graduated…. ask your Getrude Kalulu former PS and the others how fast GRZ will fill your posts…as lawyers you should know better than to ‘sit in’ you could have carefully negotiated your case…or has Alternative Dispute Resolution completely deserted you…..

  5. go to action nasla chemical and nasla group company. Product name. Soft touch lotion cream jelly
    There company managemen and owner non technical no idea no experince just mak money care for self
    No care laboure just force
    The worker Holding slary and passport
    No any one action becoz rich man.
    there corruption any minister action give money .
    Owner nam. Mr nasir mr hanif mr hameed too much boss

  6. THE GOVERNMENT HAS NOT ABOLISHED THAT ALLOWANCE. THE ALLOWANCE HAS JUST BEEN ADDED OR INCORPORATED INTO THE GROSS SALARY. SO YOUR PAY SLIP WILL NOT SHOW THE NON-PRACTICING ALLOWANCE SEPARATELY. THE SAME HAS HAPPENED TO MEDICAL DOCTORS. THE ON-CALL ALLOWANCE HAS BEEN INCORPORATED INTO THE GROSS SALARY.
    MAY BE THE MISTAKE WE ALL MADE WAS TO ACCEPT THIS ENCORPORATION OF ALLOWANCES INTO THE GROSS. THESE ALLOWANCES WERE ACTING AS BARGAINING CHIPS FOR PARTICULAR CADRES. NOW YOU CANNOT BARGAIN ALONE. THEY WILL SAY THAT YOU WILL DISTORT THE ENTIRE SALARY STRUCTURE AND EVERYONE WILL HAVE THEIR SALARIES INCREASED….PATHETIC SITUATION.

  7. It is not right to smear butter on the faces of the employee by cheating them that you have increased their salaries and yet you got their allowances and add to the payslips as an indication of salary increment. These problem will continue due to the promises that are not fulfilled.

  8. ZAMBIA GOES HIPER. ITS LIKE FIRE FIGHTING TACTICS. WHY CANT PF GOVT COME OUT CLEAN ON THESE WILDCAT STRIKES WHEN ATE THEY GOING TO FINISH.

  9. Iwe demon there is nothing like Zambia has go hiper.Only in yo demon infested head. When is the government firing these urgents of the devil.l mean unprofessional nurses who’re hired by the devil himself to take souls to him.

  10. -You call K3,600 additional to what you are Paid now to be too little?
    Nonsense should never be toralated. Its salary harmonazation, that means there are changes in the structure of your payslip depending on the nature of your job.
    E.g- A TEACHER can not ask for Uniform allowance but a SOLDIER, POLICEMAN or NURSE.
    – A Nurse CAN NOT ask for K2,000 Housing Allowance when Agriculture guys or teachers in the same location(Lusaka are not fighting for that).
    -If Nurses ask for night allowance, even guards at Health institutions will ask for the same. A nurse gets nights off.
    – If a teacher in Lusaka works from 07 hrs to 10:30(for grades 1-4), An Accountant will complain that they want more money bcoz most of them work from 08 – 19 hrs without an allowance.
    BE CONTENT WITH WHAT YOU HAVE.

  11. The working government equal work equal pay. if you dont work how do expect to be paid. These people punished innocent citizen for piling the cases. Bravo Kabimba and PS legal.
    They were just eating the money without work, what type of advocates are they no uluse

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