The speech by the Free Federation of Trade Unions of Zambia Secretary General Layson Mando at the Kabwe laour day awards ceremony has been described as hollow, shocking and compromised.
Mando, one of the guest speakers at the poorly organised ceremony where workers were made to sit on the dusty roads went on rampage to attack the MMD’s policies as he praised the ruling PF, saying he was happy with the government’s performance at the moment.
“The MMD government enacted the industrial and labour relations Act in an effort to intimidate workers and union leaders and consequently I am one of the union leaders who lost employment,” said Mando, a PF appointed Workers Compensation Fund Control Board member.
Jack Chileshe, a former worker of the defunct Mulungushi Textiles factory described Mando’s speech as hollow and compromised. “I am shocked that the labour leader instead of reminding the government about the need to reopen the textile factory he has been praising the government on Lumwana projects which are not relevant to Kabwe, anyway he is eating from the PF plate but he should not come here to fool us,” said an irate Chileshe who was observing the proceedings at the civic centre.
Mando’s speech received no applause from the audience unlike his ZCTU counterpart Roy Mwaba who touched on petinent issues and complained that despite this being a labour day he had observed that some shops were still open.
Mwaba also complained about the poor state of the roads in Kabwe and the poor working conditions at the Lebanese owned Zalco industries where people have been working without safety clothing, and reminded the PF to fulfill the campaign promises among which they promised to reopen Mulungushi Textiles.
During his turn Lands minister and Guest of honor Wylbur Simusa ordered that the btwo auto shops Fountain Auto spares and D & D worthy Auto be closed while the proceedings were going on. Where as the Zambian owned shops were closed, the foreign investor owned Shoprite checkers (about 100 metres away) was operating without any interference by the minister.