Saturday, May 04, 2013

My life belongs to God - Sata
By Staff Reporters
Thu 02 May 2013, 14:01 CAT

MY life belongs to God, says President Michael Sata.
And President says the fight against corruption and illicit financial flows was top priority for his government as it diverted resources that created jobs.

Meanwhile, President Sata told workers that salary increments and hard work should go hand in hand.

Addressing workers and other citizens during this year's International Labour Day celebrations at the Freedom Statue in Lusaka yesterday themed 'Transforming the economy through job creation, labour law reform, better conditions of service and improved work culture', President Sata said MMD leader Nevers Mumba and his UPND counterpart Hakainde Hichilema stayed away from the event because they had been spreading rumours that he was ill.

"My life belongs to God… Even if I were to die today, there are some young PF leaders who are ready to take over from me…," he said. "Nevers Mumba is not here. Hakainde Hichilema is not here because they are ashamed. Go and tell them Mr Sata is still alive and what type of leaders are they that want others to be sick and to die? If you are a leader and you are aspiring to lead the people of Zambia, come here and celebrate with them, including my boys who are in the trees."
President Sata also said there were no leadership wrangles in the Patriotic Front.

"There are many people in PF who can take over from me. They are not fighting, they are waiting (for the right time) and some of them are trying witchcraft from Chipata, people like Edgar Lungu (home affairs minister) but it fails," he said.

And President Sata said increased salaries and improved conditions of service should go hand in hand with hard work.

"If the unions are sleeping, I am not going to do the job for you. If you knock on our door, we are ready," he said. "We have shown that we can."

And President Sata said the problem with the young generation in Zambia was that they preferred shortcuts than to emulate people like Dr Kenneth Kaunda.

"Our fight against corruption and illicit financial flows is a priority," he said.

"Kenneth Kaunda saw this country in Northern Rhodesia when he came from Chinsali. He was walking from Chinsali to come and look for my late sister (late Mama Betty Kaunda) in Mpika… He has struggled to see this country get where it is, that is why today it pains him and he doesn't want to keep hair; us young Zambians we can't emulate people like KK, you are making shortcuts."

President Sata also paid tribute to workers for their sacrifices towards transforming the country's economy.

He said the government would implement forward-looking and equitable policies in line with the PF manifesto.

President Sata said the government had created more than 175, 000 jobs since assuming power.

He said transforming the economy of the country required upholding integrity, accountability and transparency in the use of public resources.

President Sata said corruption diverted resources meant for poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Earlier, President Sata asked the master of ceremonies to invite former ZESCO board chairperson Fr Frank Bwalya, who was, however, not present at the event, to offer a prayer.

And President Sata sang a birthday song for Dr Kenneth Kaunda soon after getting to the podium.

Dr Kaunda turned 89 on Sunday.

And speaking earlier, International Labour Organisation (ILO) country director Martin Clemensson said there had been positive economic growth under the PF government.

Federation of Free Trade Unions of Zambia (FFTUZ) president Joyce Nonde-Simukoko said she was happy with the positive dialogue that had been there between trade unions and the government, adding that the MMD lost the 2011 elections because it had no policies that supported the poor.

She said the opposition must grow and mature.

"We are disappointed that the opposition are not here. They need to grow up and mature. We need to put an end to this. The opposition must be here to listen to us because their members have different political affiliation," said Nonde-Simukoko.

And Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) president Alfred Masupha thanked President Sata for listening to their demands.

"When we cried that the Ministry of Labour be delinked from the Ministry of Information you listened and we thank you for that," said Masupha.

Labour minister Fackson Shamenda said the PF had shamed those that insulted President Sata.

He said some of those that insulted President Sata were ministers and deputy ministers.

"If you were a dictator, you wouldn't have called for dialogue with the opposition. Those that insulted you are not only walking the streets of Lusaka free, some of them are serving in this government as ministers and deputies," said Shamenda.

And Zambia Congress of Trade Unions president Leonard Hikaumba said Zambia would only progress if people support the PF because the party had shown commitment in uplifting the general living standards of citizens.

And during Labour Day celebrations in Kitwe, health minister Dr Joseph Kasonde said workers must lead the movement for the transformation of the national economy through positive work culture.

He said workers must demonstrate the ability to add value through discipline, good time management and overall commitment towards work.
"I urge the workers with the bad attitude towards work to stop it.

Let's persuade those people with a bad attitude towards work to stop it! They must behave themselves not only in their on interest but in the interest of national development," said Dr Kasonde. "We have pillars of development, with the first being job creation. The PF government is committed to ensuring that decent jobs are created through increased investments in social and economic programmes for sustainable development. We will continue working with the private sector to ensure that entrepreneurs have access to cheap credit for investment."

And Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) executive board trustee Misheck Nyambose said the much-needed development in the country could only be achieved by uprooting slavery conditions of work and forging strong ties of alliance between the government and the trade union movement as well as correcting misconceptions that the trade unions have nothing to do with politics.

And in Livingstone, gender minister Inonge Wina said gender-based violence reduces women's productive capacities at the work place due to high levels of absenteeism.

She appealed to workers to be productive and bring on board positive attitudes at their places of work. "Women affected by gender-based violence experience high levels of absenteeism from work," she said.
Wina said leaders should be accountable to the Zambian people and work tirelessly to raise the living standards of the people.

Livingstone PF area member of parliament Lawrence Evans said he was saddened by the work culture of most of the over 500 youth employed to work on UNWTO general assembly developmental projects who tend to abscond for work after getting paid.

Deputy labour minister Ronald Chitotela urged employers to abide by the minimum wage law and promised the workers that the government was not going to abandon them.

ZCTU first vice-president and Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) president Chishimba Nkole said a lot of Zambians were without jobs because some investors were anti-union.

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