Wednesday, July 24, 2013

'Govt aware of L/stone retirees' planned protest'
By Cynthia Phiri in Choma
Fri 12 July 2013, 14:01 CAT

LABOUR Minister Fackson Shamenda says the government is aware of a ploy in which some unpaid retirees in Livingstone have planned to stage a protest during next month's United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly.

Shamenda, who disclosed this in Choma yesterday when he called on Southern Province permanent secretary Bernard Namachila, said the planned protests were discovered after a fact-finding mission undertaken to the tourist capital by himself and senior officials in the ministry, who included permanent secretary Trevor Kaunda and labour commissioner Cecilia Mulindeti Kamanga.

He said over 200 aggrieved retirees who have not been paid their dues since 1998 were planning to protest against the government, adding that if not forestalled, this would undermine the successful hosting of the UNWTO activities.

He said during his visit to Livingstone, he discovered that if labour issues were not handled properly, the country would suffer an embarrassing situation of protests by workers during the UNWTO General Assembly.

Shamenda called for urgent action to resolve matters that could trigger industrial unrest during the event, which will be attended by international delegates.

"It is also disturbing to learn that there is no single labour officer in Livingstone following the relocation of the provincial capital to Choma. Livingstone is a busy town with a lot of economic activities and it is unacceptable for it to be left unmanned," he said.

Shamenda directed Kaunda and Kamanga to immediately deploy a labour officer in Livingstone. He said there was no way Choma could have two labour officers when Livingstone had none.

And Namachila assured Shamenda that measures would be taken to forestall the planned disturbances during the upcoming UNWTO general assembly.

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