Labour day is a celebration of the labour movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. I dedicate this tribute on behalf of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well being of our nation.
The government of the day is expected to play a leading role in ensuring that the welfare of every worker is protected. Both in the private and public sectors. The Labour laws must be aimed at giving back dignity to workers in terms of their job security and reasonable family incomes.
The key to support the worker is for government to keep current jobs and create new ones. This can only happen by ensuring that we introduce sustainable incentives for investors to keep them interested in bringing their capital to our country.
Unworkable, populist economic policies and unnecessary conflicts with investors have in the past hurt the flow of investments into the country. It is for this reason that MMD cautioned the Patriotic Front (PF) government against its ill-thought and sudden decision to raise the mining royalty tax from 6% to the unmanageable levels of 24%. We are therefore glad that the PF has responded positively to our proposal.
The cooperation between mine houses and government must always end up with a win-win situation for all stake holders. The country needs to work towards stabilising the economy by creating a sustained investor-friendly climate in Zambia and avoid the constant knee-jerk decisions that we have witnessed in the past.
Our desire as MMD is that government introduces a sustained drive for pensionable jobs for our people. Our greatest failure as a nation is our inability to take care of retirees who have expended all their lives for the prosperity of our nation only to be abandoned and neglected at the end of their working lives, when they are at their most vulnerable and weakest economically and physically.
Government continues to fail in paying retirees in time and this has resulted in a lot of our retirees dying in poverty. We must ensure that those who served their country in the labour force during their energetic years are remunerated well, in a timely manner to allow them live in dignity towards the twilight of their lives.
Have a happy Labour Day.
Dr Nevers Sekwila Mumba