Monday, May 20, 2024

UPND to mount legal challenge in defence of dismissed striking nurses

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UPND deputy secretary general Kuchunga Simusamba
UPND deputy secretary general Kuchunga Simusamba

The opposition UPND has vowed to mount a legal battle in defence of dismissed striking nurses, especially that president Michael Sata has a history of firing medical personal even from his days as Health Minister under late Frederick Chiluba.

UPND deputy secretary general Kuchunga Simusamba accused president Sata’s government of being worse that Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), Shoprite Checkers and other companies that wanted to dismiss their protesting and striking workers.

“History cannot keep repeating itself under Mr. Sata because he is again the same one who fired medical doctors when they demanded for better pay during late Chiluba’s government when he was Health Minister.

He said the nurses and other health workers strike was not illegal as alleged by the PF government because it was the result of the PF reckless statements and promises to the health workers.

“How can they say it is an illegal strike when the PF recklessly promised these essential workers better conditions of service and got votes and praises for the same. This is treachery of the highest kind and even worse to describe them as mere garden boys and maids as Mr. Sata did in Mansa,” Mr. Simusamba said.

He said UPND will stand with the dismissed nurses and is currently studying their letters with a view to putting up an injunction to restrain government from firing them.

“We appreciate that these are essential workers that are looking after the healthy of many of our people and any disruption to their input cannot be encouraged. As UPND, we are not encouraging any strikes in any sector, let alone the healthy sector. But this one is a result of careless and irresponsible statements and promises by the PF regime,” he said.

Mr. Simusamba said it was not the nurses that demanded for 200 percent salary increments, but the PF government offered that amount on their own.

“Sometimes it is important to swallow ones pride and apologise when you have failed. These nurses are human beings and would have understood if the PF went back and told them they could not afford what they promised instead of being arrogant all the time,” he said.

Mr. Simusamba has thanked all nurses for their understanding by going back for work as their union leaders are negotiating with government.

91 COMMENTS

    • I am sure this is meant to be insulting to the nurses in the UK. What you do not realize is that your Zambian nurses are becoming UK millionaires by running organizations that look after the elderly! Search Rainbow Care Solutions or Care 1st Homecare. These are just some of the multi million pound care companies owned by Zambian nurses!

    • While it is good for UPND to make political capital of this, yea go aheard and do that on behalf of these nurses. This is what MCS used to do, take advantage of every mistkes or weaknesses by the party in power.

    • UPND, UPND …..OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH MY God!!! Those nurses where not reasonable in the way they conducted themselves. Why have they gone back to work? has anything changed? What is it that they were trying to achieve? Kill people? They knew it was their union leaders who messed up. why didn’t they demand for change of leadership in the union and start fresh negotiations with the gvt. or could it be that they don’t know what a union does? Ignorance. UPND, u seem to have nothing to say at the moment. Is Sata doing so well that u have nothing to talk about? what will happen after 4 years? are you not going into extinction?

    • @ Zambian Doctor:
      What is better cleaning white asses and getting paid in real money or kissing black asses day-in/day-out and getting paid in fake promises?

    • Carers in the UK earn at least K21572.00 equivalent per month. while qualified nurses earn at least K53928.00 equivalent per month. So compare these salaries with Zambian Salaries under Sata before you decide to go home.

    • The nurses are even lucky that the government has told them to re-apply.In advanced countries that couldn’t have had happened.

    • Folks

      The firing of the nurses is indeed very unfortunate. I hope the government will rescind their decision and re-employ these nurses.
      It is very disappointing that the PF has resorted to intimidation tactics to cow the vulnerable .If they get away with this then no one will get a pay rise again apart politicians them selves. I urge all medical personnel to stand up for the plight of their fellow workers because, who knows,”chawona mzako lelo mawa chilipali iwe” to echo Sata’ words.
      In future a law to punish the politicians who wilfully deceive people to make political capital out their desperation by making fake promises should be enacted.Such a law will force politicians to stop issuing careless statements aimed at deceiving the poor.
      PF and Sata are not to be trusted any…

    • The work being described here is what nurses should actually be doing,giving nursing care to patients. If Zambian nurses at home are not doing this then they are not doing their job and do not deserve the pay rises. Lets respect other people’s professions. It’s not called a “calling” and noble profession for nothing.

    • UPND`s point is crap.So do they want PF to tolerate indiscipline ? The law is the law, what is illegal is illegal.If what the nurses did happened in the UK,America or any western country the fate could have been the same.Nurses are professionals hence must follow a normal channel of doing things.Why should people who calls themselves as professionals start singing and dancing in the hospital premises while sick and helpless patients just look on in windows ? Even reaching an extend of insulting the health minister Kasonde ? UPND should instead try to find the goodness in some of the things that PF does not just opposing for the sake of it.

    • @Zebige
      It may be a “crap” point but what is fact is that the PF have lost a significant amount of votes as a direct result of their failure to manage this issue properly. The likely beneficiaries of that is anyones guess but the UPND has seen the opportunity and moved in while others are sleeping. Also note that you don’t get sacked for strike action in the developed world. And while I accept without reservation that the Law is the Law, I can’t help but wonder why this same Govt was quick to intervene in the KCM wrangle (how was that different to this). And if I am not mistaken the Govt denied deporting the CEO (because it was unlawful to do so) but have since uttered statements to suggest they did in fact deport Kumar. A Govt of illegality indeed.

  1. yes yes yes good riddance UPND how do you promise things you cant deliver PF has failed the nation. these PAMA FI pipo.

    • In fact nurses are very luck they should have been arrested for unlawful assembly, man slaughter here in the UK they deduct money from your pension for the days you were on strike ( legal strike) an illegal is a dismiss-able offense

  2. I think you are mow out of bounce. LET THE UNIONS DEAL WITJ MATTRT.
    HOW FAR ARE WITH THAT CASE OF DEAD BODY STOLEN FROM HODPITAL?

  3. The demand for the nurses is in anticipation of what they were promised. The PF should sober up and appologise to these nurses for their hollow promises prior to the 2011 general elections.

  4. yes, this is how it should be, offer them tangible support not just condemning the govt like mmd has done. it wont give the affected people food on the table. sata has never been fired from any job so he will know how it feels to be fired come 2016

  5. whatever made you go to uk my nurse?Do not think you are an angel now,you can also be called a maid by sata.As for your wish to come back,just come zambia has a 20 000 nurse shortfall and this does not worry the pf govt.well done upnd,go on defend the defenceless.I really miss the chanda chimba programme.

  6. Its the best time to gain political mileage! You don’t even know the meaning of illegal strike! Any worker who goes on strike without the resolution of his or her union is on illegal strike period! Surprisingly during the strike period more than 800 applications where received!zambia has more nurses but don’t want to work in rural areas!

    • UPND stop politicking and tolerating indiscipline, even you when you form Govt(if ever at all!) you will behave in similar manner to deal with lazy, insensitive, unpatriotic nurses. They should be warned severely and returned to work without pay for the days they did not work. Legal losing battles for what? You will just waste money for your forthcoming Bye-elections and 2016 campaigns.

    • As it appears that you think (wrongfully) that you are expert, can you please enlighten us on the principles of “NATURAL JUSTICE”

  7. True leadership shows when the going gets tough and we shall see how PF will handle this matter going forward. For sure the lives of fired nurses will not be comfortable at, this is the more reason people should realize that if a promise sounds to be too good to be true, just know it is a lie. PF promises were beyond earthly reality, doing great things in 90 days…. next time pay attention to real promises.

  8. GOVERNMENT BLAMED KCM ,SHOPRITE WHEN THEY TOOK THE SAME STANCE BUT IT HAS GONE TO WHAT IT CONDEMNED. PF REMEMBER YOUR CAMPAIGN PROMISES. 2016 IS AROUND THE CORNER. BE CAREFUL !

    • People try to differeciate medical personal to any other employee like shopkeeper,miner etc.there duty is to help peoples lives and they chose for them selves,its not advantange.good move to fire them.

  9. @ Zambian Doctor:
    What is better cleaning white asses and getting paid in real money or kissing black asses and getting paid in fake promises:

  10. Let us stand with the nurses. they went too far in refusing to go back . still PF deceived them. PF stand for Bufi.

  11. Knowing Sata if it was another party in power which had dismissed nurses he would have gone to town over the issue. Good move UPND, give full support to the Nurses. Their dismissal was unfair – you use the principle of Legitimate expectation as a basis for their salary demands. This is a well known legal principle . By making those promises , and undertaking to review the salary anomalies when the nurses went on strike earlier in Sept/ October, the PF planted a legitiamte expectation in the minds of nurses that their grievances would be delt with. PF is hostile to Zambian gvt workers . When shoprite and other investors fire striking workers, Sata throws a tantrum. Now look at his hypocrisy .

    • Very correct. it is my understanding that law and other legalities should be read in a particular context. Law is not interpreted in a vacuum. law is there to serve humanity. Judges and magistrates talk about public interest or public policy so as to create the context for interpreting a particular. As you know, the law allows to kill in self-defence, though the interpretation of self- defence is very narrow. the illegality or legality of the nurses strike is a matter of justified expectation. The government, as a party to determining conditions of service for civil servants, undertook to pay these nurses. in fact, ZCTU should report this government to ILO because their actions are an affront to the spirit of collective bargaining, trade unionism, freedom of assembly and expression etc

  12. Agony is realizing that even your girlfriend has been fired at UTH. Anyway as much as i feel bad about it,it still doesn`t change the fact that she participated in an illegal strike.My girl has cried the whole night.Too bad Saulosi is miles away to give her that shoulder to lean and cry on.

  13. HH and his under 5 have nothing to offer the country, going by what is happening and reference to what Sata and PF were doing whilst in opposition is ridiculous. HH and UPND should original ideas and plans not photo copies from Sata.
    The nurses deceived themselves because when negotiations were concluded in April/May,2013 no one complained or demonstrated but happy with the 4 percent which their Union leaders accepted.
    Government is the major employer in the country hence the desire to have a disciplined employees. Government has more than 20 departments and why should it be nurses always going on illegal strikes.

    • what do you have to offer. go and register an political party and we will meet on the political battlefield. Otherwise, just make your point and we will analyse it.

  14. “better conditions of service is what they where promised” Does it mean that you will be given 100% in form of mula or they will improve the conditions of service like housing, transport, etc.

  15. I always wonder what we as Zambians want and stand for. We seem to be happy and even celebrate when our fellow citizens are being ill treated and harassed by the Government or police. Why is it good for government to fire its civil servants and bad for Shoprite and KCM to do the same? Our work under extreme difficult conditions and no body seem to care not even the government. The nurse patient ration is one among the highest in the world as if we are at war. One nurse caters for more than 50 per shift compared to mine hospitals and government hospitals in the region. The other thing it seems Zambians are not informed of what the Zambian working as nurses in the UK do. I remember Sata in his sarcastic language told the nation that Zambian nurses in the UK work like banamazaiyi its not tru

  16. Upnd are senseless beings.1.The strick was illegal 2.Sata never referred to the nurses as garden boys or maids etc. u must be sincere iwe demon in Simusamba.l find hard it 2 support because just like yo ZWD u are full half truth and lies.Umulomo !

  17. CHEAP POLITICS TRYING TO CLEAN TRIBAL TAG. The way HH became President is what made people start shunning UPND. It was based on tribal not merit hence the departure of Sakwiba, Chisanga, Mtonga, Sichinga and many others. Mazoka was great.

  18. What moderation is my commenting waiting for?U have also become a platform of senseless article from the upndZWD.U call others to virtue when u don’t have.

  19. patients will be defended and protected at all cost. Even if it means firing unruly health workers. That is the meaning of these letters. The next stage is sit down around the table and start negotiations again. Discussions are essential, so are disciplinary measures. That is how the nation will build a strong founation for itself.

  20. @19 PIO HAVE A HEART FOR YOUR FELLOW ZAMBIANS WHO HAVE BEEN FIRED. MUCH AS I DO NOT SUPPORT STRIKES, THE GOVT COMMITTED ITSELF. AGAIN REMEMBER, SATA WAS HEALTH MINISTER WHEN CHILUBA FIRED ALL THE DOCTORS. WHERE ARE WE GOING AS A COUNTRY? PF LEADERSHIP GAVE ITSELF 27% PAY RISE AND ANNOUNCED WAGE FREEZE FOR THE NEXT 2 YEARS. IS THAT FAIR? GOD HELP ZAMBIA. THIS IS MY PRAYER.

  21. “Mr. Simusamba said it was not the nurses that demanded for 200 percent salary increments, but the PF government offered that amount on their own.” Go ahead and sue them.I thought you Simusamba you are wise enough to know that verbal promises don`t work.That court will only give you time if there will be a written document attesting to that.You don`t have a strong case here. Mwefinangwamwe !!!

    • @tulandeko,verbal is also a contract,clips can be shown to prove govt commitment to the wage issues.here the government is on the losing side in terms of legal challenges,this will result in early retirement,the loser will be the Zambian people and nor the nurses.we need man and women of this cabre.brave indeed.

  22. Sata doesn’t give a damn about Zambian medicals because he is able to jump on a plane and go to seek medical attention elsewhere. Instead of improving their work conditions and salaries he fires them. He has given himself and his fellow Nazi’s 3 salary raises and not for the medicals who are working day and night to save lives.

  23. The issue is not HH.HH is aready rich and well to do but if you believe in PF will a trial of lies and failures then it is upto Zambians.
    Failures of Sata
    1.I will chase when i come in goverment.0
    2.Fuel will be cheap.0
    3.I will reduce cabinet.0
    4.I will restore barotse agreement.0
    5.I will deliver people driven constitution with 90 days.0
    6. I will provide free education.0
    7.I will create employment.0 but now firing
    8.The Zambian currency will have value.0
    9.I will provide farming inputs before rains.0
    10.Farmers will be paid within 3 weeks after selling maize.0

    My country men and women if you think this is good for the country then never complain.To me this is the worst goverment in the history of Zambia.A nation lead by uneducated man is doomed for hell

  24. This bant.ustan party has surely ran out of ideas. Give us your shadow cabinet and alternative budget and outline your vision for the country. yaba!! let the unions sort out their problems.

    • Point of correction ,It is your PANGA FOOL party which has run out of ideas.You are led by old fashioned uneducated fossils whose interest is themselves and their relatives.You build structures in your home villages and call it developing the country.The lies PF told are back to haunt them “Ubufi bulabwelela”
      The worst performing govtn in the history of Zambia

  25. The nurses who have been fired are like freedom fighters who are killed just days before the oppressor surrenders and independence is granted and all those cowards who had fled the fighting rush back to come and enjoy the fruits of freedom. The strike action has compelled the employer to rework the salaries and conditions of service for the cowards to enjoy.

  26. Former Health Minister Nkandu Tasintha Luo is behind the sacking of the nurses.She has hated nurses with s passion since a nurse grabbed her former husband ,Dr.Manda.She and Sata again were behind the firing of Doctors in 2000.
    I hope now she will feel appeased now.

  27. NEWSPAPER AND OTHER REPORTS SAY THAT THE DISPUTE WAS NOT ABOUT SALARIES BUT ABOUT VARIATIONS IN SALARY NOTCHES.

    SURELY, ANY EMPLOYER WOULD NEED OWN TIME AND SPACE TO CORRECT THE ANOMALY.

    EVEN IF THERE WAS A DISPUTE, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETWEEN WORKERS’ UNIONS AND THE EMPLOYER TO ADDRESS.

    KONKOLA COPPER MINES (KCM), SHOPRITE CHECKERS AND OTHER COMPANIES, WHICH SIMUSAMBA IS CITING, DID EXACTLY WHAT THE NURSES DID – TO WANTED TO ILLEGALLY WITHDRAW THEIR OBLIGATIONS TO WORKERS WITHOUT GOING THROUGH NORMAL CHANNELS, THE UNIONS….THAT IS WHY A RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT WANTED TO FIRE THE EMPLOYER!

  28. While it is essential to show sympathy to the fired nurses and share their concerns, UPND’s scavenging mentality and opportunism makes me supprised. This Simusamba wants to mount legal battle to block the dismisals. Is it neccesary? Hasn’t he heard that the fired nurses were free to re- apply for their positions. In other words, the government is saying, as essential workers the nurses were not supposed to neglect their duties resulting in deaths. This Simusamba must be naive. Does’nt he realise that by the time his legal battle to block the dismisals takes effect, all the nurses who reapply will have been reengaged or reinstated? So Simusamba and HH have seen an opportunity to gain political mileage in the issue of nurses just as they saw an oportunity in the Chitimukulu issue…

  29. UPND, How are you going to do it given that these nurses went on an illegal strike? Not only that further their Union signed the collective agreement that GRZ would award the nurses a 4% increment? I dont know which court of law you will go to. What I see is dullness in the UPND , nowonder they call you under 5’s.

    Peace and Prosperity to Mother Zambia.

  30. This is evidently a party without clear vision. Tossing and turning toward any complainant.
    Government salaries are funded by taxes from the private sector, anyone in employment must feel a sense of offense when someone being paid off their taxes is asking for a pay rise. In other words, these nurses are asking for more taxes on us?

  31. Number 30 you are a lier. You mean you have not seen development taking place.
    Kaunda was a form Two but developed the country. Indeed there are many eyes that are open but few that can see.

  32. very good point from UPND, I think UPND is now maturing as a Party and good move to Sue the government on such a thing.

  33. @2.3 ndobo
    This is what seems to be the problem with upnd leadership, they are chimbwi no strategy (cns). They copy everything sata did in opposition but no tangible results for them. HH’s puppies who blog on LT call sata all sorts of dung even saying he grade 7 yet their supposed educated under5 leader uses sata’s brains to survive in politics, useless brats. Everyday its sata did this we doing same, shameless under5s.
    Even this legal battle they want to wage wont take them anywhere and its why pipo dont pay attention to this bantustan enclave party.

    • Exactly my thoughts. This is just a party no ideology. Just scavenging without analysing critically. Do u have to oppose everything…using an excuse that this is what MCS did also. But u say MCS is not educated..so why use his ideologies….pure under 5 tribal politics of opposing anything…

  34. Ok it’s like the panga radio station. Surely Wenzu if truly you live in UK, when have u ever heard of docs and nurses going on strike? The answer is none for over 120 yrs. today their salaries are frozen for three yrs and no one has gone on stile o or let the patients die because of money. Nurses / docs see their carers as a noble professional. I know UNPD are Sata the history of firing health workers no wonder health workers worked hard to improve the face of one of the most hated ministry rude nurses and doctors became pleasant and listening. Clean hospitals with meds .hats up for Sata coz he stood for the patients who were defenceless. UNPD fails to capitalise by actually encouraging nurses to go back to work like Sata did with ZRA in opposition and the resumed work. That is maturity

  35. I have now concluded that here in Zambia two years from now there will be no Law to govern the country. This freedom we have has gone far . We have miss use our Democracy and Human right .Us zambian we dont know what we want. Even the so called learned people. when this idoits Nurses were insulting Mr. Kasonde and Shamenda no one condeming them beacause they are allowed to insult leaders. UNION LEADERS are the fouls to blame .Let these sucked nurses continue dancing and insult government. They were saying they are ready to be fired why now crying . it is on record .They were ready for that.

  36. We saw their leaders pleading to them to go back for work even reaching an extent of neeling down they refused . I have no kind words for these Nurses. Lets see who is now tightening the belts and eat soya for that .

  37. Wanzelu, I live and work in NHS, talking about nurses paid well, it’s not true . The tax is high and accommodation is not cheap in areas like surrey or Epsom. Therefore bro it’s important for u to be true to yourself . My advice to Unpd is to use this as strike to their advantage by ncouraging nurses to go back to work and save the sicky and the needy

  38. Most of you who comment on this matter you luck wisdom & understanding in the way you comment.These leaders instead of improving the conditions in our hospitals are worsening them,cause they know to say they will be flown out of the country when they are ill and most you are busy celebrating this baberic act by the government.

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