Mon, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000
By SIMON MUNTEMBA
SOME leaders of teacher unions in the country have been coerced by the Ministry of Health to side with government on the proposed National Health Insurance Bill (NHIB), claims Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) Deputy secretary general, Elaston Njovu.
Briefing journalists in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Njovu claimed that ZCTU had received information that the Ministry of Health recently held a meeting in Livingstone organised by the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) during which top teacher union leaders were coerced to support the bill.
“We have received information that the Ministry of Health addressed a gathering of the teacher unions organised by the Teaching Service Commission in Livingstone during which the PS influenced the teacher union leaders to support the bill,” Mr Njovu charged.
Mr Njovu alleged that some of the leaders in the teacher unions who attended the meeting in Livingstone were paraded to speak to the media in support of the bill which had not been discussed by stakeholders.
Mr Njovu said ZCTU was appalled that the Ministry of Health had been using certain sections of labour movement to support the bill when it knows very well it did not consult stakeholders on the matter.
“We would also like to appeal to our affiliates to desist from being used by the Ministry of Health to support a cause which is highly questionable,” he said.
“First of all, we have never read the bill in full and we don’t know the contents. Secondly, our greatest fear is the deduction on the workers. Our people will greatly be disadvantaged to the things they never agreed to,” he said. Mr Njovu charged that ZCTU did not want to be party to what it termed as “flawed process” which may cause problems when implemented
He added that the Ministry of health should realise that they are dealing with a serious national matter which need wider consultations.
He repeated ZCTU stance on the bill saying the union would not make a u-turn regarding the matter.