Monday, December 16, 2013

Wage freeze for govt workers final - Scott
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Sun 03 Nov. 2013, 14:01 CAT

VICE-PRESIDENT Guy Scott says corrupt people get attracted to the ruling party. And Vice-President Scott says the two-year cap on wages for civil servants is final but the government is willing to engage trade unions. Vice-President Scott said this in Parliament on Friday during the Vice-President's question time.

Mapatizya UPND member of parliament Clive Miyanda caused laughter when he asked Vice-President Scott to apologise to home affairs minister Edgar Lungu who said he was uncomfortable working with corrupt ministers. Lungu on Friday sat next to Vice-President Scott in the National Assembly.

"If the Honourable cares to go back to the story in The Post newspaper, he will find no mention of me saying that we have corrupt ministers in the government," Vice-President Scott. "What I said is that corrupt people such as those in the land-grabbing industry in Lusaka are attracted to the ruling party. The people in Lusaka West, when the MMD was in power, they had blue chitenge; as soon as PF came into power, they had green chitenge. I will stand by that."
Vice-President Scott said the government would proceed to implement the planned two-year ban on increase of salaries for civil servants and also the recruitment of new government workers.

This was in response to Sinda MMD member of parliament Levy Ngoma who queried on the planned picketing of Parliament by the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions to force legislators to overturn the proposed freeze in wages and hiring of new public workers.

"The wage freeze is for two years and there hasn't been a freeze this year. There had been enormous increments at certain levels in the civil servants," Vice-President Scott said. "We are not authoritarians, we are not dictators, we are prepared to talk about almost anything. We are not afraid to talk, but we have made our position very clear."

And Nalikwanda MMD member of parliament Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa, quoting the Daily Mail, asked him on what the government planned to do for the people of Sioma who were reportedly buying roller meal at K150 per 25 kilogrmme bag.

In response, Vice-President Scott said: "That is Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit DMMU's responsibility and I will see to it that is done, but I wouldn't believe everything I have read in the Daily Mail anywhere."

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