By CHARITY MOONGA –
THE Government is in discussions with trade unions over the wage freeze dispute, Vice-President Guy Scott has said.
Dr Scott told Parliament during the Vice-President’s question and answer session that a dispute had been declared on the issue of the wage freeze with the workers’ unions.
He said negotiations were, however, on-going between the union and the Government to resolve the issue.
The situation with regards to the wage freeze was a tricky one for the Government but negotiations had continued.
The House also heard that Choma Central MP Cornelius Mweetwa would next week raise a private member’s motion against the wage freeze.
Dr Scott caused laughter in the House when he said that it was difficult for him to rate the accountability of the Watchdog online publication, as it had no home and its reporting had a lot to do with poor relationships.
This followed a question from Senga Hill MMD MP Kapembwa Simbao who wanted to know how Dr Scott rated the watchdog.
Later, Education Minister John Phiri said his ministry would investigate reports that the Government, through some district commissioners, had asked some schools in the country to contribute K300 each towards the commemoration of Zambia’s 50 years of independence.
The question was raised by Mazabuka Central MP Gary Nkombo who sought to know why the Government was asking for contributions from schools, which were already facing financial difficulties and what the rationale behind those contributions was.
The opposition MP also took the Government to task over increased street vending in the country and the continued takeover of markets and bus stations by political party cadres.
Mr Nkombo said street vending had brought many problems, with some people defecating in empty opaque beer packs.
Local Government and Housing Minister Emmanuel Chenda said the Government was clearing some land near Lusaka town centre where all vendors would be taken.
He said the issue of vendors and the control of bus stations in Zambia was not an easy problem and had become political. He urged local authorities to take charge.
The Government would follow the law in getting rid of street vendors.