Saturday, June 12, 2010

Kaluba urges Rupiah to stop using Chiluba as his campaign tool

Kaluba urges Rupiah to stop using Chiluba as his campaign tool
By Mwila Chansa in Kitwe
Sat 12 June 2010, 04:00 CAT

NATIONAL Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) secretary general Goodwell Kaluba has urged President Rupiah Banda to stop using presi Frederick Chiluba as his campaign tool because he is just adding more salt to people’s injuries.

And Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) secretary general Oswell Munyenyembe has described as unacceptable the ‘championing’ of the miners’ plight by Chiluba.

Commenting on Chiluba’s trips to mining townships and promises that he would assist miners buy houses at a cheaper price, Kaluba said President Banda must first check himself before sending Chiluba to campaign for him.

“RB is using a wrong person who will always be booed and jeered because this is the same man Chiluba who caused a lot of mess for miners,” Kaluba said. “Chiluba’s reputation is dented and his popularity has faded so using him to campaign is just adding salt to people’s injuries.”

Kaluba said Chiluba was president when the houses in Mukuba-Natwange Township in Kitwe were sold and even when Mukuba Pension Trustees fixed the prices, he never did anything about it.

He said the issue of houses in Mukuba-Natwange had been dragging for a long time and most people had been compelled to get loans in order to buy the houses in question.

Kaluba said he could not understand how Chiluba could today claim to assist the people of Mukuba-Natwange to buy houses at cheaper prices when he failed to do so when he was president.

Kaluba said Chiluba’s decision to entice the people of Mukuba-Natwange to vote for President Banda if he helps them buy houses cheaply amounted to politicking because President Banda as the country’s leader had a duty and obligation to ensure that citizens regardless of their political affiliation led decent lives. Kaluba likened Chiluba’s behaviour to that of Samson in the Bible.

“Today, he is behaving like Samson who lost the glory that God gave him but could not realize it. When did Chiluba learn about the state of toilets in Wusakile? He left them like that. A few toilets have been worked on but most of them are the same,” he said.

Kaluba urged miners to be careful and only entertain people that truly had their interests at heart.

And Munyenyembe said Chiluba today could not claim to champion miners’ rights because he ignored them when he was president.
Munyenyembe urged Chiluba to stop playing with miners’ minds because he would never sway them.

He explained that contrary to popular belief that Chiluba began the housing empowerment in the mining townships, MUZ suggested that houses be part of the miners’ benefits upon realisation that some investors did not have enough money to pay off all benefits that had accrued to miners that were either retrenched or retired after privatization.

“There was a collective agreement before privatisation between MUZ and ZCCM because investors did not have money to pay all accrued benefits. So to reduce the bill, MUZ suggested that houses be part of the benefits so it is not even right for Chiluba to claim that he started the sale of miners’ houses. The 1997 collective agreement between MUZ and ZCCM can give more details regarding the sale of miners’ houses,” Munyenyembe said.

He warned that if Chiluba did not stay away from miners’ issues, he would continue facing “lots of resistance.”

Munyenyembe urged miners to stay focused and not be swayed by Chiluba’s tactics.

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