Management of the University of Zambia (UNZA) says demands by the three Unions that top management including Vice-Chancellor Prof. Luke Mumba vacate offices at the whim of certain individuals or groupings is a recipe for anarchy and a flagrant breach of the law.
UNZA Management says the law is quite lucid on how a Vice-Chancellor or indeed any member of top management can vacate their offices.
The Three unions resolved and demanded the removal of top management led by Professor Luke Mumba following a general members’ meeting held at the University of Zambia’s Great East Road campus on November 5.
The unions are the University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers’ Union (UNZALARU), University of Zambia Professional Staff Union (UNZAPRU) and the University of Zambia Allied Workers’ Union (UNZAAWU) and are demanding that Prof Mumba and his team be dismissed for allegedly mismanaging the institution the last five Years.
According to a statement signed by the three union representatives Dr Kelvin Mambwe, Nalucha Mayamba and Mupuna Moonga, the top UNZA management has never worked in the interest of the workers.
“Professor Mumba’s leadership style is inimical to progress and industrial harmony in the University. We, the three (3) Trade Unions at the University of Zambia (University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers’ Union, University of Zambia Professional Staff Union; University of Zambia Allied Workers’ Union), would like to inform the general public of the current unpleasant state of affairs at the University of Zambia,” the statement read in part.
“This state has arisen out of mismanagement of the University by those appointed to superintend on the affairs of the University. At the general members’ meeting held at the University of Zambia Great East Road campus on Friday, 5th November, 2021 at which the status of various challenges being faced by the institution were debated, the three Unions resolved and demand as follows…”
Further, the unions are demanding immediate payment, without illegal conditions, of all gratuities and pension owed to serving staff whose backlog stand at 10 years.
The unions have also recommended immediate conclusion of the 2021 collective bargaining, improvement of conditions of service and withdrawal of the court case against UNZAPROSU, which is about the 2021 negotiations for improved conditions of service.
“It should be noted that we the trade unions at the University of Zambia have for the past years desisted to engage ourselves in activities which could have resulted in serious industrial unrest but with the issues highlighted above we are now unable to guarantee any industrial harmony at this institution,’’ they said further.”
“Despite giving chance to dialogue and the due process of engagement and conflict management, nothing meaningful has been achieved.”
The three leaders maintained that the unions would continue to protest until their demands were met.
But in a statement issued today, UNZA Acting Head of Communication and Marketing Damaseke Chibale says Management at UNZA has learnt of the demands by the three Unions namely, UNZALARU, UNZAPROSU and UNZAAWU with a sense of surprise.
Mr. Chibale says Management has always engaged in social dialogue with all the Unions to resolve any grievances that they may have from time to time.
He said this dialogue also includes Collective Bargaining which has been going on since early this year.
Mr. Chibale said Management finds the allegations that it does not dialogue with the Unions to be unfortunate and untruthful.
And Mr. Chibale says the matter regarding the payment of terminal benefits for serving members of staff has been taken to court.
He has clarified that the total debt that the university owes in respect of gratuities and pension benefits stands around K700 million.