UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema says he has noted with dismay the PF regime’s failure to pay council employees and other public sector workers their salaries, allowances and benefits for long periods of time.
Mr Hichilema says the current situation indicates that council workers have gone for over 3 months without pay and yet the PF have funds to bribe voters in unnecessary by-elections.
He said this is uncalled for and a great injustice to families that are already struggling under the economic hardships brought about by the corrupt and failed PF, Mr Edgar Lungu and his friends.
Mr Hichilema said in view of the above, the PF administration should immediately pay outstanding salaries and allowances to all council and other public sector workers who have not been paid.
“We also direct that Mr Edgar Lungu’s PF administration must mmediately release the equalization funds and other grants meant to help run the local authorities and other public sector institutions without any further delay. It is absurd for the PF to keep using council, government and other public sector workers without paying them but funding their PF thugs during election campaigns. A salary is a human right which must be received on time”, he said.
He also directed the President to remove PF thugs from bus stations, markets, taxi ranks and several other public places and replace them with local authorities so as to restore order.
Mr Hichilema said this will save the public from the PF thugs’ harassment and being overcharged for using public facilities.
He said further, this will enable local authorities to properly manage these facilities and collect fair revenue that will facilitate their smooth operations, especially as the rain season draws near.
Mr Hichilema said currently, the PF thugs are collecting high and illegal levies from members of the public in the above stated areas and sharing among themselves at the expense of the councils and the public.
He lamented that this lawlessness and violence with impunity must end now and the councils must without further delay reclaim their mandate to properly manage these public facilities and collect fair levies on behalf of our people.
“As UPND, we would like a situation where ordinary citizens are able to freely use these public facilities without fear of being overcharged, harassed, robbed, beaten or killed by these unruly gun trotting PF thugs”, he added.
And Mr Hichilema has challenged the PG Pay retirees all their benefits immediately because they worked for these benefits, in some cases, for many years and the PF must not be diverting these monies to reward their militias that are harrassing, maiming and killing citizens with unbelievable impunity.
“Lastly, we would like to assure council, government and other public sector workers that are not receiving their dues and other benefits from the PF, that when in government, the UPND undertakes that your salaries and all other benefits including those relating to retirement will be paid on time”, said the opposition Leader.
He said not only will the retirees be paid promptly, but their conditions of service will be improved in line with the party policy of ensuring motivation of all workers.
Mr Hichilema said in addition, the UPND in government will ensure that funding (grants, equalization funds and others) will be paid on time to allow for smooth operations.