Teachers in Mpika reject the 60 year retirement age

Mabumba High day school,
Many children live a long way from school and prefer to rent accommodation nearby. Grade 12 pupil Dorcas, 17, stopped attending the Mabumba High day school, about 20km east of provincial capital Mansa, after becoming pregnant. She said: “We were staying the three of us [girls], then we started sharing the house with three guys and that is how we paired ourselves. We just wanted some form of emotional support; life is really tough out there. So, the whole of last year we were living together with the guys and would have [unprotected] sex almost every night but everything was OK.” ~ Dorcas. Photo Credit - Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)

Teachers in Mpika District of Muchinga Province have maintained and proposed to government that the retirement age should remain at 55 years.

The teachers have rejected the optional 60 years retirement age.

The teachers made the proposal to Education Deputy Minister, David Mabumba who was in Mpika yesterday to check on the progress on the four day secondary schools under construction and had time to address teachers at Mpika boys secondary school.

The teachers also suggested that President Lungu should critically look at the submission in the final draft constitution on retirement age so that he does not contradict his decision.

They explained that retirement package be paid promptly at the last day of being in office so that retirees are not turned into destitution.

The teachers reminded the Patriotic Front-PF administration that the retirement age was one of the clear campaign messages that excited civil servants and public service workers to vote for President Edgar Lungu.

And in responding to the suggestions, Education Deputy Minister, David Mabumba called for calm adding that the retirement issue is being tabled in Cabinet and soon government would announce the outcome.

Mr Mabumba explained that President Lungu is also concerned with the matter and is making wide consultations with labour movements and experts so that consensus is reached.

And the Deputy Minister said the poor performance of the Zambian economy is also being caused by local contractors who have disappointed government with their shoddy works on capital projects.

Mr Mabumba said the economy of the country will never grow if contractors do not change their attitude towards work adding that Zambia is enriching other countries especially on borrowed money where profits are taken back by foreign investors.

He added that not until Zambians start encouraging hard work, professionalism, honesty, will the economy grow.

He narrated that the current scenario is not health for the nation because more investors in infrastructure development means growing other countries’ economies at the expense of local contractors.

He warned that soon his Ministry will be meeting with local contractors to chart the way forward adding that those who have proved to be failures risk being blacklisted and should not complain.

He said government is in a hurry to deliver development to the people and cannot afford unnecessary delays by contractors who want to enrich themselves before completing projects.