Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sata warns nurses
By Kombe Chimpinde-Mataka and Godfrey Chikumbi in Mansa
Sun 01 Dec. 2013, 14:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has warned nurses to resume work before the government strikes. And President Sata says that it is not possible for the government to introduce free education because it is a cost. Meanwhile, PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba says the party should maintain President Sata for the success of the party.

Speaking when he featured on Mansa's Radio Yangeni where he went to thank the people for voting for Dr Chitalu Chilufya in the recent Mansa Central parliamentary by-election, President Sata said nurses should not have gone on strike without declaring a dispute.

"Let me tell you something; if you your daughter tells you that let me nyela beat you, you just laugh. Nurses are not governing, us we are running that government. We have a minister who is responsible for running that government. We want to follow the law. Let us follow the law, let us follow channels. But if you want to make shortcuts, we as government we have everything at our disposal: we have the police, the courts, so if we want to make shortcuts we can easily make shortcuts and enjoy the shortcuts; it's not blackmail. We have a garden boy, you have a house girl, do they tell you what to do? When we as government strike, we strike one way, not like them," President Sata said.

"If you ask labour minister Mr Shamenda, nurses did not declare a dispute for them to go on strike but we understand they have children. Those nurses who are strking, they are human beings, they have relatives in hospitals and some of their relatives are dying with them going on strike; probably they would have helped someone who is dying. But I don't want to use this channel to tell you what government is thinking, I will leave it to the MPs to deal with them."

President Sata also said defects in the new constitution could be corrected by way of amendments.

"If there are defectives, we don't need a new constitution, we can amend this constitution. If you have a chapter that you want, you can insert in the bills of what you want. We appointed a committee to look at the constitution and when they bring that document, we are not in a hurry. If there was a vacuum, we would have been in a hurry," President Sata said.

"How do you bring in a referendum? We have only had one referendum during Mwanakatwe, how do you come and want to bring in a referendum in between? Secondly, the procedure is that me, I'm hands-off. When the committee (technical committee) finishes they will deal with the justice minister who will take it to Cabinet. But what I am saying is if there are defects, we can call for amendments."

President Sata also castigated civil society organisations that were criticising the government over the constitution-making process, saying that they represented themselves and not the views of people.
He also said he desired for Zambians to have free education before he was voted in office but he realised that that would mean overtaxing the same people.

"When we were in the opposition, it was simple to say we are going to have free education but we didn't realise that we are overtaxing you people who are paying tax and you know education has a cost to build a classroom, to bring a desk, we need to pay a teacher," President Sata said.

"Conditions prevailing in the country right now cannot allow us to implement free education because we are going to punish children who are in the same schools."

He said he wanted to have more schools built in all parts of the country but that meant paying teachers.

And President Sata said his party had achieved a lot in 90 days.
"In 90 days, we have achieved a great deal: increased salaries for civil servants including teachers, in 90 days, we have not done it under 180 days," he said.

And President Michael Sata yesterday deferred the ground-breaking ceremony of Luapula University to next year.

And Kabimba said political parties that have been successful in the world have maintained one leader.

Speaking at a thanksgiving rally at Mansa's Kaole Stadium yesterday, Kabimba said the PF should maintain President Sata who was not out of step with anything that has happened in the world.

He said the cause of the poor had always been in President Sata's blood.

"We all know, those of us who have worked with you, that the cause of the poor is your vision. The cause of the poor runs in your blood; it is not something that comes as an after-thought," he said.

Kabimba, who attributed the victory of the PF to discipline among officials in Mansa, said the ruling party would not compromise on the same.

"We won elections in 2011 because there was discipline in the party and I want to urge the party we ought to maintain discipline because that is what will guarantee success," he said.

At the same rally, Southern Province minister Daniel Munkombwe urged party members to allow President Sata to rule in peace.

Munkombwe said it was too short a time or period for confusion to engulf the party.

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