The Scandal being experienced at KCM is being replicated at Airtel.
From the time Airtel bought the leading Telecoms Company in Zambia from Zain, all that has happened is the deterioration of conditions of service, deteriorating services and disfranchising of a Zambian existing and potential worker and supplier.
Outsourcing was the beginning of the scam meant to disfranchise, casualize and reduce working conditions of the Zambian employee. Airtel engaged and transferred its existing employees to several companies with deteriorating working conditions ,namely:-
Allied Mobile(Airtel shops),Nokia Siemens Networks (Technical Dept),IBM India(IT Dept), Techmanhindra (Call Centre) and recently towercall (Deployment Dept. All in the name of improving efficiency but you and me know that multi-layering is a means of lowering the amount one pays in terms of tax and it only brings casualization. It’s also not a coincidence that all those firms are Indian owned or Indian related or headed by an Indian. It is by design.
Narrowing down to NSN (technical department), it’s the first one of which this combined scam wants to offshore engineering services to india. This means almost all engineering services which have been offered by the well internationally qualified Zambian engineer for over a decade will be taken to india for remote operations and maintenance of the airtel network leaving the Zambian engineer jobless. This GDC will be based in India and run by Indians.The implications of offshoring which is being introduced through what the call GDC (Global delivery Centre) which they want to implement is that it will render the Zambian engineer irrelevant and jobless. We are sure this is against government policy and EIZ and every well-meaning Zambian can’t support that.
We thank our branch and national union who have put up a gallant fight and engaged DP ministers of labour,Hon. Chitotela then and Mbulu recently. The government through these distinguished MPs have tried to stop this scam by holding meetings with company management and union officials. However the company (NSN/Airtel) have gone ahead with impunity disregarding all that government has directed them and even boasting that no matter what the government say they will go ahead and implement this,typical arrogance like like KCM.The have gone ahead to connect equipment to india in total disregard to all that government instructed.This shows you the level of arrogance these people have.They have stopped incorporating fresh graduates while frustrating existing ones and even encouraging them to leave. So far more than twenty excellent brains have left without being replaced and the job functions have been taken up by Indians in India at GDC.
In the light of the foregoing, we implore the government to do more as all their directives are being disregarded which is a total insult to the intelligence of this country.We also call upon the MPs(both ruling and opposition),NGOs,church and every well-meaning Zambian to voice out on this issue and ensure that GDC is not allowed as it is a national issue and an insult to the intellengence of the nation.Its implications among many which are too numerous to mention are that;
1. It is taking away jobs from well qualified Zambians and giving them to Indians whose qualification and skill can’t be verified. in spite of all moneys being generated in Zambia through the sale of airtel airtime.
2. Revenue loss to the nation as no more taxes from the well qualified engineer, as we are being turned into a mere consuming nation.
3. No more assimilation of fresh graduates as almost all engineering functions will be shifted to India if GDC is not blocked
4. Violations of EIZ and labour laws as no one knows the qualifications of those the network will be given to.
5.Turning Zambia into a consuming nation and impacting badly on our economy.
6.No human capital improvement needed as there will be no need to train existing and new
Zambia being a developing nation, needs more employment creation than not, we believe investment into our nation should be of real and quality benefit to a Zambian and the nation as a whole. Allowing foreign investment to extinguish this is creating colonialism in the name of wealth creation for the nation. Our fore fathers who fought and died for the independence of this country were very sane, but bled so much from their hearts for the love of the country. It is time we stop these multinational companies who do not have anything good for our nation, but merely on a voyage to rip as much without regard for local mankind!
Lastly may all those we have implored to voice out ,do so and assist the government fight this vice as it an assault on the country’s economy and meant to take away some of productivity which is well being done locally and offshore it to India. Whether NGO, Opposition, Church we expect you to voice out and assist the government efforts as this is a national issue and if not stopped, we will just mourn like we are mourning and regretting over KCM. We need to draw serious lessons from KCM saga.
As much as we need foreign investment, we should be mindful of our future and the future for generations to come after us, hence the need for us to be relevant to fight for a better and lasting deal for our nation!