‘It’s time for soldiers to form union’

Dear Editor,

According to recent revelations by government, Zambia is in the process of domesticating the International Labour Organisation which has no discriminatory claw-back clauses which hinders Defence forces from having a union. Unlike our domestic Labour Act, under ILO, everyone is encouraged to form a labour union. Maybe this could be a chance for the Defence to have a union which they have for so long desired. We hope legislation against Defence Union will be harmonised with ILO in order to create a “voice.” For these sacrificial lambs.

There is utterly nothing scary about a Defence Force Union (D4U) which will look purely into admnistrative issues surrounding men in uniform.

For a long time these men and women have not been represented nor heard because they are muzzled. Those who are said to represent them are people who have no heart for the welfare of these men and women wallowing in shanty compounds, surviving between poverty and death, while their admnistrators are swimming in comfort.

The union will speak for the voiceless men and women in uniform. It will try to end apartheid within the ranks of Defence, correct the justice system which is so pathetic, harmonise the recruitment of soldiers and officers because sure enough, the defence force is a kingdom; its a mornach where employment is based on who fathered you. This have compromised command.

If the revelation of tunnels by a Commander In Chief of the armed forces is not a “state secret!” How much more the welfare of a soldier wallowing in abject misery in Misisi? They need a UNION. “We are the people”

They are law abiding people. Obedient citizens of the country. Their strength sustains the nation; their presence glorifies it!

Finally, we would like to state here that we are forever loyal to our commanders. We pledge our forever support to the government of the day. But we need a union where our views will be aired.

WE SHALL NOT USE FORCE TO HAVE A UNION, BUT A UNION WE MUST HAVE because “we are the people!”

Name withheld

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