THE Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) has expressed regret that after twenty years of multiparty democracy, the country continued to experience retrogressive electoral violence.
MUZ President Nkole Chishimba said it was retrogressive that instead of using the twenty years of democracy to take Zambia to another level of development such as economic independence, politicians were engaging in political violence and fighting each other.
Mr Chishimba was speaking yesterday at Katilungu House in Kitwe during the normal Supreme Council meeting where former MUZ president and now Deputy Labour Minister Rayford Mbulu was awarded with the honorary President and membership of MUZ for his various contribution to the union.
Mr Chishimba said the labour movement desired to see productive arguments among political players if they were to remain relevant to the union and its membership.
“We desire to see productive arguments among political players if they were to remain relevant to the labour movement. We tasted the first sample of democracy more than two decades ago and it is with regret that we note retrogressive stances in politics such as electoral violence.
“Twenty years of democracy should have taken our beloved Zambia to another level of development such as economic independence, but we are saddened that instead politicians are fighting each other,” Mr Chishimba said.
Mr Chishimba said the union was impressed with the development stories taken so far by the Patriotic Front (PF) government especially in road infrastructure development like the link Zambia 8000 and the Pave Zambia.
He urged the PF government to run the full course as roads were an integral and very key strategy point towards meaningful development.
He, however urged the PF government to take development every where as opposed only targeting those with by-elections.
“While we note with pleasure the route the PF government has taken in terms of development, we would like to urge our government to be every where whether there are by-elections or not. People everywhere want development,” He said.
And speaking after being given the honorary award of life president and member of MUZ, Mr Mbulu said he was grateful to MUZ for the award given to him and the support he was given whilst serving as MUZ president.
Mr Mbulu urged the MUZ membership to remain united during difficult times if they were to achieve anything in pursuing improved and better conditions of service.
He also urged the workers to work hard, be committed and disciplined at both the place of work and at in the unions.
“As workers who are building the economy of this country, you should ensure that you work hard to increase production. You should not be saying we want to have the fair share of the cake, but you should be saying let us bake the cake and share it,” Mr Mbulu said.
“We supply inputs to Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. So for us the cancelation of the tender to supply the 2013-2014 inputs is an opportunity to cover the 2.1 million small scale farmers who were not beneficiaries of the Farmer Input Support Programme. Mind you the support caters for over 900 000 farmers out of 3 million farmers. So for us we shall supply on time to those that will not benefit from the government sponsored programme,” he said.Mr. Dhlamini also announced that his organization would start its open market supply of fertilizer for both basil and Urea fertilizers on July 1, 2013 in order to give enough time to farmers to access the commodity.