A NEW trade union mother body has been formed with a warning that it will campaign against violent political parties ahead of the 2016 general elections.
Confederation of Trade Unions of Zambia (COTUZ) which has been formed under the slogan “Dignity and Integrity of Affiliates and its members” has since called upon political parties to exhibit high levels of tolerance towards one another to achieve peace, unity and stability.
“The Confederation of Trade Unions of Zambia in its constitution has put 10 per cent as affiliation fee. This will help affiliates unions remain with 90 per cent of their subscription income for them to manage their national programmes,” COTUZ president Joe Kamutumwa said.
He said political parties should conduct issue based and violent free campaigns, failure to which, the confederation would have no choice but to campaign against political parties who would be found wanting.
Speaking during the official launch of COTUZ in Lusaka, Mr Kamutumwa said political parties should not forget that peace, unity and stability was a prerequisite in attracting foreign direct investment inflows in the country.
Mr Kamutumwa said the signing of a new constitution by President Edgar Lungu would significantly mark a change in the governance system of the country.
Mr Kamutumwa said the onus was now on individuals, groups and organisations to acquaint themselves with the new republican constitution.
“Government has allowed the Confederation of Trade Unions of Zambia to come into existence and be operational in trying to help fight the so many challenges facing the workers of this country today. Furthermore, the Confederation is alive to the fact that it will have to undertake its objective and mandate in line with the current existing labour laws,” he said.
He said COTUZ would not manipulate or discriminate affiliated unions but give the best and effective representation.
And assistant labour commissioner Kadijah Sakala said the Ministry of Labour and Social Security was delighted to have on board COTUZ and its affiliates.
“We are expectant of their quality input as we formulate policy and laws that will protect both the rights of the employers and employees. I have no doubt that the workers are also expectant to see the fruits of their monthly contributions,” Mr Sakala said.
He encouraged COTUZ to work with other mother bodies because the law would require them to work together as one voice on matters of national interest.
“Please do not tear each other apart because employers can also take delight in seeing divided trade unions. The principal should be that there is strength in numbers” he said.