Govt. is not being dictatorial on retirement age – Chitotela

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—Government has refuted sentiments made by Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) President Leonard Hikaumba that government was being dictatorial over the proposed new retirement age from 55 to 65.

Labour Deputy Minister Ronald Chitotela said it is not correct to insinuate that government was being dictatorial on the proposed new retirement age.

Mr Chiotela explained that after cabinet tacked the matter the state thought it wise to throw the matter to the general public for further debate before implementing the new retirement age.

He said if the PF government was being dictatorial over the new retirement age government would have straight away taken the issue to parliament for enactment.

The Deputy Minister stated that PF government is all inclusive in all the decision it makes hence the decision to allow the Zambian people to debate the new retirement age free.

Meanwhile Mr Chitotela says government is committed in ensuring that the current labour laws are reviewed.

He said the reviewed labour laws should suit the current economic growth and benefit the workers.

Mr Chitotela wondered why workers have not been benefiting when the economy was performing well.

He explained that bad labours laws have contributed to the workers not benefiting from the economic boom.

The Deputy Minister said this during the launch of the labour law reforms consultative workshop held at Lusaka hotel today.

And earlier ZCTU President Leonard Hikaumba advised government not to be dictatorial over the suggested new retirement age.  

Mr Hikaumba said government should follow the procedure before enacting the new retirement age.

The ZCTU leader insisted that the state should listen to other people’s views concerning the proposed retirement age.

Meanwhile Mr Hikaumba has saluted government for showing commitment in carrying out labour laws reforms.

He said the labour movement want to see in place, laws that protect and promote industrial harmony.

In a related development MR Hikaumba has appealed to the Ministry of Labour to caution other laying Ministries to desist from interfering in the operation of the trade unions.

He complained that some Ministries were interfering in the affairs of the Trade Unions.

The ZCTU leader has since praised the Ministry of Labour for the good working relation it is fostering with the labour movement.