Civil servants’ plight must not be ignored

By Staff Reporter

OPPOSITION Ideas Party of Democracy (IPD) leader Herbert Chamuka says government must urgently attend to civil servants’ grievances in order to help reduce corruption in the civil service.

Chamuka’s calls come at a time government is locked in a bitter salary wrangle with civil servants over the latter’s demands to have their salaries reviewed upwards.

A crisis meeting held between government and civil servants’ representatives on Friday ended deadlocked after the employees rejected the government’s offer of a 25% increase as measly.

Chamuka said unless workers’ salaries were increased substantially, corruption will keep festering.

“I encourage the government to increase workers’ salaries to avert corruption. If you look at police officers for instance, they seek for bribes out of poverty and policing becomes highly compromised,” Chamuka said.

“I am not saying that is justifiable, but at least government must offer them something which helps them survive, not what they are getting now,” he said.

“Government must also be quick in solving attending to their plight.

Last time they promised to come up with housing schemes for civil servants and we don’t know what happened to that noble idea. Now they are have to pay rentals and yet they salaries are inadequate for that. Therefore we are encouraging them to really look into this issue,” he added.

He also said the high mortality rates in public health institutions was largely a result of poor service.

“People are dying in hospitals from preventable causes because nurses and doctors are not doing their jobs as diligently as they should as they lack motivation. In schools, our children are not receiving the sort of education they deserve because teachers are not going to school and when they do, they are halfhearted and you seem them whining about low the low pass rate at examinations,” Chamuka said.

“Right now there is a major issue regarding teachers refusing to go back to work because government has refused to offer them meaningful salaries.”

He warned that government’s gross negligence was brewing a storm which might trigger mass street protests from an increasingly restive populace.

“We do not want to encourage our people to pour out on the streets and demonstrate. We want peace and harmony but such ineptitude on the part of government is a sure recipe for protests,” Chamuka said.