Government bans UNZARALU

UNZALARU General Secretary, Dr. Kelvin Mambwe
UNZALARU General Secretary, Dr. Kelvin Mambwe

The government through the Ministry of Labour has approved the application to terminate the recognition agreement between UNZA management and the University of Zambia Lectures And Research Union (UNZARALU).

Last month, UNZALARU Secretary General Dr. Kennedy Mambwe, was quoted in the media saying only “idiots” will vote for the ruling Patriotic Front if elections were called today.

” If an election was to be called today, either those that are enjoying with government or idiots would vote for the PF,” Dr Mambwe said.

This angered the Government of Zambia and Dr. Mambwe was forced to later apologize to Higher Education Minister Dr Brian Mushimba over the sentiments.

And UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says he is deeply saddened with the news of the termination of the Recognition Agreement between UNZA management and UNZALARU by Government.

“We are not at all surprised by this move as it was predetermined by the Government as heard through the utterances of some Ministers, and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. This action by the PF Government is yet another clear demonstration of the continued intolerance of dissenting voices by the Patriotic Front,” Mr Hichilema said.

“The role of a trade union is to represent the interests of its members against blatant disregard of the contractual agreements that determine the relationship between an employee and an employer. This is the role that UNZALARU, like any other trade union, has been playing, to defend and protect the interests of its members,” he said.

Mr Hichilema said the University of Zambia Management, an agent of Government, has perpetually failed to honour its legal mandate to meet its contractual obligations to University staff.

“We are aware that Government owes University staff colossal amounts of money in unpaid gratuities, pension and NAPSA dating as far back as 2011. In addition to that, the Government is failing to fund the University on time to enable it pay salaries to University staff. We have information that University of Zambia lecturers have not yet been paid their January salaries. This too, is a clear breach of the law on the part of Management and Government.”

“We are also aware that UNZALARU has been engaging the Government and Management of the University of Zambia to find a lasting solution to these problems but this has not yielded any results. Against such injustices, UNZALARU has a right to air their grievances and it is the responsibility of any well-meaning Government, a Government that is tolerant, to guarantee such rights of our people.”

“However, given the poor record of the PF Government on matters of human rights, we are not surprised that they can gang up to intimidate a trade union and seek to completely silence its voice. Any reasonable Government should have first understood the root cause of the protests that the University of Zambia keeps on experiencing from both lecturers and students every year, and address them accordingly. Any protest by citizens is an indication of a crisis.”

Mr Hichilema said UNZA is in a crisis and it is naive for anyone to expect the affected people to remain silent.

“Any government of principles should address the causes of the protests at UNZA by funding the institution adequately and not the other way round. Intimidating citizens through the use of Government institutions should not be allowed in any modern and democratic nation,” he said.

“The UPND will do things differently. We will not only uphold human rights but respect trade unions and hear their voices as they are important social partners in development. We will improve funding to higher learning institutions such as UNZA and ensure that the working conditions of our lecturers are comparable and compete with the rest of the region.”

He stated, “Given the important role that UNZALARU plays in representing the voice of its members, we call upon the Labour Commission, an agent of Government, to reverse its action and allow the Union to operate normally. The Government should be focused on addressing the problems that UNZALARU has brought to its table.”


  1. We need law and order in any organisation. You cannot insult a ruling party or government and expect us to clap for you. Respect is vital in our society. As I relax in south Africa I am reflecting on how we can make a better Zambia. The upnd seem to support any evil behaviour against order. Kz

  2. Banning the Uion is too harsh. The best step would have been to ask UNZALARU to replace the man who insulted because those were his personal views and not of the union. Insulting Zambians who feel the PF is doing a good job was wrong. What HH and his handlers always fail to do is to win the conservative voters. Please UPND political strategists understand that in our culture even if an elderly person is wrong, sensible people would not appluad you when you insult them. Infact you will get punished for insulting an elderly person who did wrong to you. HH should have been clever when commenting on this issue by first acknowledging that Dr Mambwe’s choice of words like *****s was not appropriate and then advise the governement to consider the presssure union leaders go through from their…

  3. ..consider the pressure union leaders go through from their followers hence advise government to be linient in punishing the union. The problem is UNZA has refused to reform into a self sustaining institution. They have resolved to do nothing with Zamnet a potential gold mine for them which by now should be above Liquid telecom in data sales.They have refused to rear chickens for sale, a gold mine also, despite channelling degrees and phds in agriculture every year. Anyone who encourages UNZA to depend on governemnet for operations, to me will support children above 30 years old to continue feeding off their parents. What are the PHDs for if they can’t produce even salaries for themselves. What makes UNZA different from Lukasha Trades?


  5. Only UPND sycophants and zealots and enemies of progress can vote for a sadist and privatisation crook who has hidden the privatisation loot in the paradise papers…HH will always lose because of his greedy and bitterness…

  6. This is from the dictators play book. Silence all the masses. Leaders inspire hope and build institutions. What of the leaders of the PF who uttering diabolical tribal sentiments? Have you considered deregistering the PF. The PF President is impotent to take action because his survival depends on dividing the country.

  7. It’s good riddance, they can easily fit into another of the many Unions that exist at UNZA. The proliferation of Trade Unions has just worked to the disadvantage of the members. Some of these Unions were founded on very flimsy egotist reasons. Some chaps just felt that because they’ve a superior qualification then they shouldn’t belong to the same Union with others, but what difference does it make? They just increase the time wasted on negotiations because the same employer has to deal with several Unions and the only chaps that benefit are the leaders through allowances from members’ contributions. If everybody belonged to the same Union management would have found it difficult to withdraw their recognition. There might even be some lecturers that belong to other Unions within UNZA…

  8. This is a upnd loss. They infiltrated UNZA and other higher learning institutions so much expecting to rouse up a 1991 KK/UNIP style revolution against PF but PF seems to be ahead of them. Upnd is destroying established institutions by politicising them.

  9. 1. “…We are aware that Government owes University staff colossal amounts of money in unpaid gratuities, pension and NAPSA dating as far back as 2011. In addition to that, the Government is failing to fund the University on time to enable it pay salaries to University staff…”
    2. “…. UNZA is in a crisis and it is naive for anyone to expect the affected people to remain silent….The UPND will do things differently….We will improve funding to higher learning institutions such as UNZA and ensure that the working conditions of our lecturers are comparable and compete with the rest of the region.”
    hakainde Hichilema, aspiring to be president of Zambia.

    1.The government gives UNZA K34 MILLION every month as a grant.
    2.The government gives UNZA K12 MILLION every year for Research and Development.
    3. The government gives UNZA K5 MILLION every year to pay retirees
    2. The government has approved a loan of K200 MILLION for UNZA to clear all its retirees who retired from 2011 to 2017.
    UNZA has the largest number of students than any other higher learning institution in this country…UNZA is amongst the most expensive schools in Zambia…UNZA has land, farms, nurseries as well as a human resource which it can use as sources of additional revenue.
    According to the Act (Higher Education Act), it is the duty of the University Council and NOT Government to pay salaries and…

  11. Zambia, what has gone wrong? Is it how a union is banned? Zambia is a country where there arbitrary laws. So sad indeed.

  12. …and emoluments to all university employees, lecturers inclusive.

    The government’s responsibility is to provide a grant to the university which is appropriated by Parliament. It is up to the University Council to decide how that grant must be used.
    Antonio Mwanza, upcoming politician and PF deputy Media Director.

  13. The role of any Trade union is bring checks and balances and not insult people, infact this was long overdue the termination was suppose to be done there and then.If someone said only *****s will vote for UPND what does that sounds.2020 is the year of cleansing so be careful gentlemen.

  14. This is a government that will do anything to cling to power .Selective Justice is one of them and silencing people without a voice is another .Yo can silence the people but you cannot change their mind .

  15. Hakainde has continued to miss valuable opportunities in which to show mature and genuinine leadership. His manner of response to the UNZARU saga is a typical example. HH is not even as under pressure as the ruling party and yet he continues to fumble without real direction. One wonders whether he can really withstand the pressure of being a ruling party leader? His gross miscalculations as an opposition leader has cost him votes for his relentless quest for plot one, and will continue to do so in the near future unless he shows some form of mature leadership. For now, it appears that HH appeals only to a section of the population that considers him their own and a few paid Sauls. All the above are open secrets. HH does not seem to realize or accept that the majority of the electorate…

  16. …l HH does not seem to realize or accept that the majority of the electorate understand him and his tricks too well. If Hichilema does not find better ways to win the Zambian electorate’s hearts for a vote now, am afraid 2021 elections will be just another extension of his loosing spree.

  17. Allowing unions to engage in political campaigns a d rhetoric is detrimental to the development of civil societies and the country.
    The Union leadership should have suspended this Mambwe.
    This speaks to the union constitution. It is imperative to distinguish an activity of speaking for the workers and honestly engaging Government politically.
    The Union did not act after an error of judgment from Kennedy.
    To save the Union, Mambwe could have done the honorable, that is, resign.
    This issue was politically hot although banning the union was not my line of thought.
    It’s crazy when union leaders don’t check union constitutions properly.

  18. How could you blame the Government when the application to terminate the Agreement of recognition came from UNZA?

    The so called checks and balances on the Government, how could you support it when the UNZALARU Secretary General used inappropriate language and insulted all Zambians who would put the ruling political party into power again…the ones you are trying to lure so that they will vote for you in 2021? What kind of Leadership inspiration are you trying to uphold in this case?

    Honestly HH, the flowers you are seeing in those who are putting the Government of the day on a hot seat like Dr. Kelvin Mambwe, are the ones who will turn into thorns on your presidential chair and crucify the government you will be able to form in 2021… And that is, if you will be able to win the…

  19. They had it coming. They turned the platform into an opposition tool. I know the opposition were using them to parrot nonsense. So unza had no choice but to take them on. Lessons learned to other unions, stay in your lane and unionise maturely.

  20. Mankangala Kateka Wa Chalo “KK” the Dictator tried to stop unions, and a union leader FTJ won a landslide (75% of the vote). If Zambia is a democracy, people should be free to express their views and not threatened like this weak government led by a very weak president playing dictator.Have you observed the media calling POTUS many names compared to this bunch who dont deserve any respect. PF will go in oblivion very soon like Bwezani destroyed MMD and I suspect a few people will go to prison or will deplete their resources fighting cases in the courts. Its a shame that in Zambia today, people can go unpaid for months and are expected to zip their mouths. This incompetent Mob will get a shock of their lives when they loose the elections and people will go back to their clerical jobs…

  21. Patriotic Zambians are taking stock and evidence of all wrong doing, including all properties, equipment, purchased with Zambian peoples money in Zambia and anywhere in the world. This will go back to the Zambian people. Does not matter whose name the properties have been assigned. Zambians will follow the money trail…Digital trail…WRONG CALL by this incompetent government.

  22. It is interesting that HH feels injured by Govt withdrawing recognition agreement between Unzararu and Unza. HH’s wings are clipped. Informed Zambians know that UPND hired a clique of academicians to cause disruptions at CBU and Unza. HH actually set up link-persons within management structures who received money from UPND to pay some Union members – to execute a DISTURBANCE PROJECT. At CBU the Project generated lies which led Dr. Kaingu to place Prof. Ngoma on forced Leave. A CBU Interim University Council found that all allegations against Prof. Ngoma, by the CBU Academic Union, were FALSE. HH lost on this route. The banning of UNZARARU is yet another loss for HH.

  23. The labour ministry siding with the UNZA management is a further move to escape from their responsibilities and obligations – including coming to the table to talk sensibly. But then I forget, this government’s solution or reaction to criticism is to ban, ban ban. Incapable of thought.

  24. Move well done. This Mambwe’s comment was clearly a result of inbreeding – always socialising with same toxic people and before you know it, you are a know-it-all and , sadly, have become so group-think ingrained, you publicly come out —OUT OF THE ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART , THE MOUTH SPEAKS.
    It was not hios place to come out the way he did – one can come speak the way he did over a beer with his fiends , but NOT officially! xmvie ( how does one spell ” umufyolo?!”

  25. @ Zambia in the Sun, Freedom of Speech is truly exercised only in a Democratic Nation like Zambia but it can only be maintained with a huge responsibility from both the speaker and the listener. We are currently facing utunkofyo-nkofyo because we are abusing the freedom of expression in the name of Democracy.
    What I am trying to say is that let us be Patriotic Ambassadors of our Nation, Peacemakers and true Mediators so that Democracy will preserved in our Nation.

  26. @Proudly Zambian, Agree that there are boundaries even in a democracy but shutting down somebody who exercising a personal opinion which is not even an insult is unacceptable. Like one song writer wrote, A hungry man is an angry man! How do you expect somebody who has not been paid their dues to react? A sensitive government would lead and not always be reactive.. That is what happens when you stumble into a job you are not qualified for like ECL. The president was never tested for Authenticity like Sata was in Opposition for 10 years or HH for an even longer period. I dont think ECL would have the stamina that Sata had or HH has in opposition. Take away the office of the president and the man will struggle big time and wouldn’t survive a month in opposition at this rate. HH in my view…

  27. HH in my view is the only formidable presidential candidate that has been tested for authenticity and is ready to take this country to the next level. It is not easy to be in opposition in Zambia and going by the trend of his support base, he should be the next president of this country. I have never been a member of any political party and if HH disappoints, I think Zambia will need an independent presidential candidate. I think President Mulyokela would beat ECL in a reasoned discussion.

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