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Friday, June 18, 2021

UNZALARU issues a statement in support of Junior Doctors and the dismissed Dr Brian Sampa

General News UNZALARU issues a statement in support of Junior Doctors and the dismissed...

The University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers’ Union (UNZALARU) has issued a statement saying that issued a statement in support of the Junior Resident Doctors Association of Zambia (RDAZ) and Dr Brian Sampa.

In a statement released to the media, UNZALARU said that the heavy-handedness of government in intimidating the doctors through threats, unwarranted arrest and eventual dismissal of Dr. Brian Sampa is unfair, miscalculated and unreasonable and makes the situation worse than de-escalate it.

UNZALARU further demanded immediate payment of all the contractual and pension obligations owed to the workers at the University of Zambia.

Below is the full statement

UNZALARU SOLIDARITY MESSAGE WITH JUNIOR RESIDENT DOCTORS ASSOCATION AND DR. BRIAN SAMPA – 9 JUNE 2021

The past weeks have witnessed protests from the Junior Resident Doctors Association of Zambia (RDAZ) demanding, among others, unpaid salary arrears, allowances and non-recruitment of graduate doctors in a country where there is a shortage of health workers in most health facilities. We have also witnessed the heavy handedness of government in intimidating the doctors through threats, unwarranted arrest and eventual dismissal of Dr. Brian Sampa. We find this move unfair, miscalculated and unreasonable and makes the situation worse than de-escalate it

From the foregoing, the University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers’ Union (UNZALARU) wishes to state unequivocally that we stand in solidarity with the RDAZ and Dr. Sampa as they are fighting a just cause. As essential workers, they are simply reclaiming their right place in society and in their workplace. We are surprised that those entrusted to oversee the affairs of our doctors are quick to selectively quote and apply the law to the effect that medical personnel are not allowed to undertake a go slow yet the same law does not allow them to exploit workers too. There must be dignity accorded to a worker in service to the nation.

The Union finds it extremely difficult to understand how essential workers could be treated in a manner that defeats the very definition of being essential. If indeed doctors are essential workers, as we are repeatedly reminded, why are they not on priority recruitment and payment of salaries? We, therefore, condemn, in the strongest terms possible, the attempts by the government to intimidate, incarcerate and fire the doctors. It is illogical to be sending doctors who were trained at a great cost to the filthy police holding cells while thousands of patients in the hospital wards are desperately waiting to be served by them. In the same vein, it is grossly unacceptable to have hundreds of trained doctors jobless and roaming the streets when there is a critical shortage of doctors in most of the health facilities in the country, rural and urban, especially amidst a ravaging Covid-19 pandemic, as reported by health officials.

If the medical doctors are indeed essential workers, recruit those who are not employed and pay those who are in employment all what they are owed promptly. DO NOT INTIMIDATE, ARREST OR FIRE THEM. Instead, address the root causes and not attend to symptoms. It is their right to demand what they have worked for just as it is the responsibility of government to ensure that essential services are readily available and paid for on time. It is as simple as that!

In standing in strong solidarity with the medical doctors, we remember our own woes with UNZA Council and government. UNZA Council is attempting, illegally so, to entice unionised workers to grossly dilute their gratuity and pension accrual rates, from 37.5 to 25 percent and from 4.5 to 3 months served each year, respectively, as a condition to be paid gratuity and pension benefits that were due ten years ago and whose worth is less than a third of what it was ten years ago from the recently obtained ZANACO loan. UNZA Council would rather keep this money in their bank account as if to ensure that it devalues further rather than promptly pay the members of staff who have waited for ten years. Meanwhile, there is a shortfall of about Zambian Kwacha (ZMK) Five Hundred Million (K500 million) to pay all the members of staff who have waited for ten years for their gratuity and pension benefits at the University of Zambia. Now is the time for government to practically demonstrate that this debt can be erased once and for all. We have waited enough.

Finally, our message is that the best way to avoid a go-slow and appreciate the essential workers is to pay them their dues promptly and recruit those awaiting employment. There is no other way. Recruit and pay the doctors now! In the same vein, we demand for immediate payment of all the contractual and pension obligations owed to the workers at the University of Zambia.

President
Andrew Phiri, PhD

General Secretary
Kelvin Mambwe, PhD

8 COMMENTS

  1. Do not mix-up UNZALARU issues with those of junior doctors. If UNZALARU wanted to share its woes with the public, it should have issued a separate statement away from that expressing solidarity with junior doctors. This statement by UNZALARU has not been sanctioned by the membership of UNZALARU. It should therefore be taken to be solely that of Dr. Phiri and Dr. Mambwe, as it does not reflect the position of individual members of the union or that arising out of consensus of the membership of the union.

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  2. Unzalaru member that is what I thought too. My team are currently trying to contact offices to get the truth. You know in this day and age of upnd propaganda you cannot trust anything that you read.

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  3. Simple and genuine concerns, yet someone will blabber and say that they are being used by the opposition… I wonder why it is like that nowadays!

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  4. The good news is that there is nobody voting for PF in Zambia. Who would want to vote for over 20% inflation when they found it at 6%, exchange rate of a dollar at K23 when they found it at K5, Vote for 1 month import cover in reserves when MMD left it at almost 1 year cover, unsustainable debt contracted recklessly when Mwanawasa worked day and night to have that debt cancelled, which we are even defaulting. And don’t think with what they call a bumper harvest will the staple food come to even K50 a bag, nothing of that sort will happen. Unemployment is something else and all these have been like that even before Covid as even confirmed by immediate past Bank of Zambia governor.

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  5. My team are currently trying to contact offices to get the truth. ?????
    THIS CHAP DOESNT HAVE A TEAM JUST BLOGS A LOAD OF FALSEHOODS ALL THE TIME
    HE IS PURE AND SIMPLY A PURVEYOR OF SEWERAGE

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