It’s not surprising to hear that President Edger Lungu is now asking miners to go back to the land, because in his view farming is the simplest job one can do. I disagree with him. During the ZCCM retrenchments the World Bank had a very comprehensive program for those who were being retrenched. They offered various short courses to prepare the retrenchees, most of whom are now forced on to the streets because they have run out of money to run such ventures.
When you look at the value of the Kwacha at that time you cannot compare it to the current valueless Kwacha of today. The severance package at that time was much superior to what miners of today are getting. The ever rising rate of inflation further reduces purchasing power for the retrenched miners. Therefore it’s a mockery to send a miner to the land with a hoe when the cost for inputs are increasing on a daily basis. If the President is serious then this is now something he must quickly address.
The PF Government is not remorseful about the loss of jobs on the Copperbelt; instead it’s lobbying for more job loses throughout the country by pushing for increases in fuel and electricity tariffs. Mr. President what you are calling for is a very high cost of production which will very soon result in further job losses if nothing is done to mitigate the impact. The pain you are inflicting on poor Zambians is unbearable. This I can assure you, they will reward you by voting you out. Miners are saying Ifwe isumbu lyatenta but for the President and his team likalepuka.
These are very clear signs of failure by the PF Government and it would be better for them to quit and let someone with vision and economic management skills take over, rather than leave office in shame next year. Right now there are so many people giving President Lungu bad advice while their main interest is enriching themselves at the expense of poor Zambians. Let me assure him that next year when he loses power he will be deserted as a result. Remember the story of Our Lord Jesus Christ and Simon Peter?
UPND Chairman for Labour and Social Security