The decision by the opposition UPND to call for boycotting of labour day celebrations this year has caused panic among government officials who have since planned to mobilize PF cadres to march, posing as workers because most unions have agreed to UPND’s call to boycott the day in order to press government to have a human face to workers.
Investigations from districts reveal that even though some unions at head office level want to participate in the celebrations, members at grassroots are opposed to the idea because doing so would be endorsing the PF’s bad governance which has drastically affected the workers.
And PF insiders have told the Zambian Watchdog that instructions have been sent through district commissioners’ and district offices to parade party cadres as workers. The insiders say the cadres will be paid K200 each in addition to foodstuffs.
“Central committee is affected by the planned boycott because we have intelligence information that the UPND message has been well received by workers at grassroots level, so to cushion this, the party has organized cadres to be paraded posing as workers, of course there would be a few cadre-workers but the majority will be party cadres. It is a very costly exercise because most major districts will be spending over 100,000 on cadres. This money has already been sent to district commissioners,” said the source who is also a member of the PF central committee.
The poor economic management under PF government has led to high prices while government which is the single largest employer has imposed a labour and wage freeze for two years. Last year, over K500 nurses were fired for demanding better wages to match the ever increasing cost of living.