Opposition MPs join workers in wage freeze demonstrations

Opposition MPs in Zambia have vowed to join hands with the labour movement in the planned countrywide demonstrations against the wage freeze imposed on civil servants until it is lifted. Last week, Zambia congress of Trade Unions president Leonard Hikaumba announced that the labour movement will conduct countrywide demonstrations to press government to lift the wage freeze.

Choma Central UPND MP Cornelius Mweetwa, whose motion to lift the wage freeze was defeated last week in parliament said even if the government defeated his well meant motion in parliament using the arrogance of numbers, it had lost the argument among ordinary citizens.

The lawmaker who is also UPND deputy spokesperson said it was insulting to see a motion which was well meant and approved by the speaker be denounced by the government MPs. He said the motion was meant for the workers of Zambia who were the engine and lifeblood of the economy.

He reiterated that the defeat of the motion signalled the beginning of a ‘war’ to press government to lift the wage freeze and that as opposition MPs they were now strategising because the matter cannot be rested.

“As opposition, we are now strategising because as parliamentarians we took oath to defend, to uphold, to promote and to defend the laws of this country. So on October 31, 2014, we are joining the labour movement to demonstrate against the wage freeze,” said Mweetwa.

While ailing President Michael Sata’s salary has been increased about three times and parliamentarians asking for an increase in their emoluments, the PF government has imposed a wage freeze on civil servants for two years in a row.

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