The Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) in Southern province has said there is nothing sinister about government’s decision to sign a debt swap for public service workers. ZCTU Southern Regional Coordinator Kashumba Kabombo said the debt swap initiative only aims to better the lives of public service workers and nothing else.
Dr. Kabombo said his union is confident that government has signed the debt swap agreement with financial lending institutions on behalf of the public service workers in good faith. He has therefore called on public service workers countrywide to ignore all negative rumours surrounding.
He explained that government has decided to go into the debt swap arrangement considering the financial burdens most civil servants are faced with at the moment. Dr. Kabombo told ZANIS in a telephone interview in Livingstone today that the labour movement was extremely happy with the decision taken by government to listen to the cries of public service workers.
He expressed confidence that the exercise will be effectively implemented. He further said those saying the move was political should realise that government can continue to offer good services to its workers even in an election year. Dr. Kabombo however said ZCTU was eagerly waiting to see the full implementation of the debt swap.
And Civil servants in Mungwi district in Northern Province have commended government for releasing K400 million to finance the debt swap.
Eunice Mwamba, a civil servant working under the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs in Mungwi, said the move to finance debts for some civil servants through the debt swap is a good gesture.
Ms. Mwamba told ZANIS in an interview in Mungwi that the initiative will help civil servants to be free from debts.
“The move taken by government to finance debt will go a long way in helping civil servants become debt free,” Ms. Mwamba said.
Meanwhile another civil servant, Chimwemwe Chilembo said the debt swap will lessen the burden of debt that many civil servants have been grappling with for some time now.
Mr. Chilembo said the implementation of the deal will allow civil servants to have disposable income to acquire other basic needs.
“It is believed that some civil servants were unable to meet the basic needs for their families because they had loans which they got from lending institutions that are being financed with high interest rates,” he said.
He has since thanked government for the gesture saying this development has elated civil servants in the country.
And Mungwi District Commissioner Bridget Chitundu said President Edgar Lungu and the Patriotic Front (PF) government should be commended for coming up with such a good initiative.
“This is a clear indication that President Lungu cares for the wellbeing of his people,” Ms. Chitundu said.