Zambia Reports (Lusaka)

2 August 2014

Zambia: 'Toothless' ZCTU Talks Wage Freeze

The Zambia Congress of Trade Unions has made their occasional one off screams about the wage freeze by holding a press briefing to label the wage freeze illegal.

Long serving Secretary General Roy Mwaba told a media briefing that the wage freeze is illegal as the Supreme Court had made a ruling in the late Frederick Chiluba's rein that such a move was draconian.

Mwaba, whose ZCTU bunch has turned to just occasional noisy makers and recede to their cocoons after briefings, said that they could not take government to court as there was already a binding ruling.

"We seem to be hopeless but we are not, because our government is supposed to listen and adhere to the ruling of the Supreme Court. So this is why we are crying foul," he said.

"It is a bit frustrating but at the same time a bit dangerous because you have a court order which has been given by the highest court in the land. Government has defied the court order; they are even challenging us to say, why can't you take us to court?"

He added: "Why should we take you to court where there is already a ruling by the Supreme Court. And we took them to the ILO and again they lost the case. A government which is supposed to protect us, defend us the workers, it is in the forefront of doing illegalities."

And Fackson Shamenda has also not taken the ZCTU seriously underscoring their weakened state.

"They are saying there was a judgment which was made by the Supreme Court saying the wage freeze is illegal but the circumstances are different," he said.

"If you steal a goat today and you are imprisoned for two years, it does not mean that if the other person steals a goat tomorrow they will be given the same judgment. The issues are different that is why if they feel the issues are the same they should come and see us. We feel as government if there was something amiss the issues are supposed to be discussed that is what we have said all the time."

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