Saturday, July 13, 2024

Civil Servants retire at 60 years – Attorney General (updated)


Zambia’s Attorney General has clarified that the retirement age for public service workers remain 60 years with an exercisable option of retiring early at 55 years while late retirement can be had at 65 subject to the consent of the employer.

In an advisory to the public service, Likando Kalaluka stated that the recent Konkola Copper Mines PLC case decided by the Court of Appeal in 2018 must be understood within the context in which it was litigated as it involved an issue of parties who had signed a contract of employment which provided for retirement age.

The Attorney General said employees in the public service do not sign any contract that contain a clause on the retirement age and that retirement age is regulated by statute.

In summary, the Konkola Copper Mines case does not apply to employees who have not signed contracts with retrenched or retirement age of 55 years. Public service employees’ retirement age has always been set by statute and will continue to be set by Statute as and when amended.

In a commentary on this position, legal commentator Isaac Mwanza said what would be relevant to consider when dealing with the statute’s application is which date should be considered, whether the date of employment or termination of employment. If it’s the latter, then there is no retrospective effect since the law to be applied will be that existing at the time of termination.

Mr. Mwanza noted that in the case to do with terminating an employment by giving a reason involving Spectra Oil Zambia Limited case decided in 2018, the Court of Appeal used the date of termination despite the employee having been employed in 2012.

“These is no authoritative date to pick in determining this matter and that is why the Supreme Court needs to clean up the Konkola Copper Mines case. Relying on the obiter dictum by the Court of Appeal that the amendment had retrospective effect is problematic on its own.”

Mr. Mwanza said if the consideration is about the date of termination, the issue of retrospectivity does not arise. It is simply the issue of applying the existing law. The effect of this would entail that Konkola was wrongly decided as it was based on the date of the contract as opposed to the date of termination when the law on retirement age had since changed.


  1. So why were these other Commissions promoting confusion kanshi? Just to make Govt look bad in eyes of civil servant?

  2. Let’s have this matter clarified by the Supreme Court. It’s bringing lots of confusion!

  3. There is lots of kafwafwa in running of Government. So how did Teaching service commission and other give interpretation without consulting the top Government lawyer. I think President Lungu must put his house in order. It’s like each is writing uncoordinated. Maybe because the Secretary to Cabinet is busy with State House duties and neglected public service

  4. Law is quite confusing. Lawyers please help interpret this issue for lay men to understand. Govt will need to stand on one position on this matter.

    Generally, its like no one is ready to retire.

  5. If I work in a private company or ZRA, BOZ, ZESCO, ZAFFICO etc. whats my retirement age if i was employed before 2015?

  6. This is so unfair! you have thousands of qualified youths who cant get jobs all because old madalas are still clinging on to the available jobs at 65? In my opinion this should be reversed! at 65 people should be at home taking care of the grandchildren and great grand children while at the same time tending to goats and chickens at the farm. we need fresh brains to take over.

  7. I used to reach this class. Most of things are universal as per International Labor Organization .
    In any country, a company can’t decide retirement age. Government decide like Kalaluka is saying. Twalundako from 55 to 65 bonse fye. But a company (including pedestals and NGOs) can accept early retirement on mutual agreement to allow company pay out retirement package.
    Zambian government is a company whose employees are civil servants, even though they steal and lazy. For them it’s public, early retirement is 55, you can go and feel out paperwork if you want. They can’t force you, but they can retire you in National interest (indiscipline).
    But at 65 it’s government giving you a letter. Unfortunately Zambian government don’t enclose a retirement pay check.
    In both cases you have…

  8. Let us face it, life in Zambia is tough.

    People age very fast.

    Life expectancy is very low there.

    I am nearly twice the age of KZ, but when standing next to him, people think he is my grand father. He is a finished man.

    Let them retire at 55, unless you want them to die while still employed.

    Be fair please.

  9. Excellent. We thank you for the clarification. Those with eyes and a brain will take it on. Those with stubborn and dull brains will continue arguing and criticising while we move on to other more important things. The answer has been given. Rather than start attacking people in government either accept it or issue your intelligent response to our AG. Failure to which shut your mouth

  10. Yaba so 65 years is what is ruling now. Confusing – we were told 55 optional, 60 mandatory and 65 by permission. Anyway boma ni boma what can we say. Those of you aspiring for our jobs your time will come just be patient and wait. After all people have already started retiring after clocking 60 years and the cycle is in place now. So why worry. The begining is always rough as the waiting seem to be too long.
    Thanks for the clarification.

  11. The problem with reporters most of them are very dull, and day dreaming when people are talking, that’s why they report wrong things. The retirement age in the civil service is statutory 60. Early retirement is 55, late retirement is 65. But the president ruled in July 2019 that everybody who attains the age of 60 must retire!

  12. The Attorney’s explanation and Mwanza both make sense. Question still remains, how is this Government running that people just issue statements without consultations? We no longer have ways to discipline those who issued earlier misleading statements. Ba President, open you eyes. Systems are crumbling so fast with people trying to make u unpopular.

  13. .mmm now it’s 60. Pa first you said 65. The government gazetted 65 years. Who will tell us the truth

  14. Please guide me; What is the relationship between Supreme court and the AG? The judgement by supreme court in KCM case was passed, under what circumstances can supreme court judgement be overturned? Judges are Lawyers too, how do they defend their judgement with this advice from AG? The Judiciary service which issued a memo to retire those aged 55 & above who were employed before 2015 is the employer of judges in the courts. Where do we stand in this case? Has the AG’s advice automatically invalidated the memo from the judiciary and teaching commission? Has the AG’s advice overturned the supreme court judgement on KCM? Brethren help.

  15. The attorney general is right. Chila muntu has own job description. Surely those teachers were explaining court judgment without help from this man? I think this govt is being sabotaged. True ba Kateka must open his eyes. Bravo Mwanza, I like yo explanations too. Next AG!

  16. I don’t know what to me both explanations-supreme court’s and the AG’s make sense.To assist me & others in a state of confusion like me,let there be a televised address so us together with the commissioners understand the correct position of government.
    In the first place,who gave the commissioners authority to communicate false information to public workers?

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