The Zambia Union of Government and Allied Workers (UG) is saddened by the continuous unjustified calls on South Africans by a Mr. Irvin Jim the Secretary General of National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) to boycott buying Zambian products.
The latest of these calls were covered by the South African online publication the Independent Online (IOL) on the 30th of May 2017.
If NUMSA had done its research very well, they would have known that Zambia is a developing country which has for the year 2017 “prioritized International Trade as a tool for attaining economic growth and development”.
The calls by NUMSA work to reverse this very aim of the Zambian people.
We consider NUMSA’s calls un African, Careless, Malicious, Miscalculated and a direct attack on the Zambian people.
We also recognize that Irvin Jim is a personal friend of owner and editor of the defunct Post newspapers.
So he speaks with anger and malice and wishes to drag the entire Union into his personal fight and in solidarity with Mmembe.
We translate these persistent calls by NUMSA to South Africans to boycott Zambian products as a call to the South African people to rise up and end trade between South Africa and Zambia. NUMSA should realize that there are more goods flowing from South Africa to Zambia than from Zambia to South Africa. If Zambians chose to reciprocate because of NUMSA’s calls most South African Companies operating in Zambia would close down and that would impact negatively on the South African economy as well.
We have noted from the statement issued to Independent Online by Mr. Jim that NUMSA’s calls are based on Mr. Jim’s perception that there is political chaos in Zambia.
We want to indicate here that the perception held by Mr. Jim is not correct and that it is unwise to make calls to end trade between states based on false information.
Mr. Jim on behalf of NUMSA insinuates that Zambia is sliding into Civil War.
He claims that there is no Press Freedom in Zambia and that the Zambian Government is a confirmed dictatorship, a tyrannical government that is oppressing its people.
These are strong false allegations by Mr. Jim against the Zambian Government and its people.
It would be folly on our part as Zambia Labour Movement and also on the part of all Zambian opposition political parties to sit quiet if Mr. Jim’s claims were founded.
Mr. Jim is a lone voice on this matter; the situation in Zambia does not collaborate his claims.
Media Houses in Zambia are operating and some such as the Mast Newspaper are even critical of the regime.
Opposition parties are operating and some very critical of the regime too.
Zambian people are going about their businesses without a thought of a Civil War. If the situation was as NUMSA claims it to be, the Zambian Trade Unions as well as the Opposition Political parties in Zambia would have been the first to stand up against all such vices of evil and call for help from the outside world.
We can only conclude therefore, that there should be some personal benefit accruing to Mr. Jim for him to call upon South Africans to rise against trade between Zambia and South Africa.
What is going on in Zambia now is not new to our politics.
Politicians have been at each others throats and arrests have been done before.
Newspapers have had frictions with those in power and some have died down before but Zambia has been able to manage its affairs.
We want to appeal to all those that claim they stand with Zambia not to create unnecessary tension in Zambia by their stories because of the positions they may hold.
Zambia has systems of governance and those systems must be left to thrive uninfluenced.
We appeal to the working class in South Africa not to listen to NUMSA’s calls as those calls are founded on falsehoods.
Never at any time should they support any schemes aimed at hurting an African.
We cherish the support Zambia enjoying from South Africa but NUMSA’s calls are aimed at hurting the Zambian people.
Muyaywa Mwiyaluka Kabisa