Michael Kaingu
Michael Kaingu

GOVERNMENT will release K80 million to the University of Zambia (UNZA) between now and December to pay towards accrued staff benefits, a problem that has led to the academic staff to withhold examinations results.

Education Minister Michael Kaingu said Government would release K50 million to UNZA towards the accrued staff benefits which has led to a stand-off between the members of the UNZA Lecturers and Researchers Union (UNZALARU) and management.

UNZALARU members have decided to withhold the students’ examination results until their demands are met.

UNZALARU has demanded to be paid their accrued benefits for all university workers worth K320 million.

Dr Kaingu said at a Press briefing yesterday in Lusaka that Government among other short-term interventions would provide K50 million to UNZA towards accrued staff benefits.

“The ministry will make available the additional amount of K50 million to UNZA towards accrued staff benefits. This amount will be paid in equal monthly instalments during the period September to December 2015,” Dr Kaingu said.

He said the Ministry of Education would continue to pay towards the commercial loan of K150 million which UNZA obtained in order to pay accrued staff benefits.

Government would pay K30 million by December this year.

Dr Kaingu also said Government would make available K10 million to the Copperbelt University towards accrued staff obligations which amount would be paid in equal monthly instalments between September and December this year.

The minister said Government was hopeful that the move would convince UNZALARU members that Government was committed to resolving their problems and get them to release examination results.

Dr Kaingu said Zambian public universities had accrued debts over the years in order to pay staff emoluments.

This was because the grants were insufficient, the institutions had limited sources of income and unsustainable employee benefit schemes.

These debts have made it difficult for higher learning institutions to operate smoothly.

The universities have been unable to invest in academic facilities, repair deteriorated infrastructure and low levels of morale among staff.

Dr Kaingu said the Ministry of Education has been working with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Public Service Management Division and the Ministry of Finance to find sustainable solutions to the debt.

UNZALARU president Eustone Chiputa who was at the Press briefing yesterday shared Government’s short term interventions with the members in the afternoon at a meeting.

Dr Chiputa said in an interview that the meeting went well and the members suggested that the union should meet management and the ministry to get further clarifications.

“The members have sent us to make a few more consultations to clarify the proposal after which we will meet and inform the Press of our decision,” he said.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Please accept this proposal.if government does not own up go the same way.next year is general election year and any wrong decision by government will be to its detriment.In the meantime hasten to open unza med school as students had already reported before the union made the decision to defer the opening

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  2. So you are releasing K80m out of K320m required…what have these empty tins been doing with the money and they are talking of increasing salaries of civil servants next year….truly laughable…how do you insult peoples intelligence..where is Fossil Chikwanda going to get the money from?

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  3. The amount that will be released between now and December, 3 months that is, is too little when you look at the K320m owed to the lecturers. If Govt releases K80m every 3 months, the amounts owed will only be cleared in September next year!!! The best thing for Govt to do is to release half the amount owed and the other half later.

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  4. If only by-election never took priority that other sectors, we would have done well. How do we explain the case for retirees who do not strike, benefits of the dead for surviving relatives, unpaid local suppliers, unpaid farmers, unpaid zesco bills, unpaid zamtel bills, unpaid accommodation bills, etc. If only one can have a list of all such issues and allocate funds proportionately across all, tension would be minimized.

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  5. Iwee Kashimba what are you calculating? You just like Kaingu who cannot calculate. They would clear the debt by June next year if they released K80 million every 3 months starting this September. UNZA lecturers must hold this government to this commitment. It is important for the government to realise that we are in the doldrums right now with lecturers threatening strike, exchange rate of above KR 8 to US$1 or above KR 13 to 1British pound , zesco blues and increase in prices of consumables e.g. fuel, bread increased from K5 to K7 here in Ndola, I wonder Lusaka.

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