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UNIONS WELCOME DEBT SWAP

By SIMON MUNTEMBA and KALOBWE BWALYA

SEVERAL workers unions in Zambia have welcomed the debt swap that government has offered to civil servants.

And Information Permanent secretary Amos Malupenga said Debt swap scheme announced by government in conjunction with Public service unions is not a political move contrary to speculations from some members of the general public.

In an interview, Biomedical Union of Zambia (BUZ) president, Daniel Mwiimbe, said the debt swap was a milestone in Government’s aim to improve the living standards of civil servants in the country.

“As a union, we welcome the debt swap initiate which is a milestone in Government’s aim to improve the living standards of civil servants,” Mr Mwiimbe said.

Mr Mwiimbe however advised civil servants against abrogating the rules that come with a debt swap adding, “let them not abuse the government’s good gesture”.

The Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) in Muchinga province has also welcomed Government’s debt relief initiative for civil servants

ZCTU Muchinga Province regional coordinator, Nondo Kasanda, said the debt swap initiative came as a relief to many public workers whose marriages had literally broken down as a result of the huge sums of money they owed financial lending institutions.

Mr Kasanda said it was unfortunate that some people were politicizing the debt relief initiative, which was done in good faith.

National Union of Public and Private Educators of Zambia executive president Victor Muyumba has also commended Government for releasing K400 million to finance the debt swap.

Mr Muyumba said Government’s quick response was highly appreciated as it showed that it had listened to the needs of the Zambian people.

He said the initiative would go long way in addressing the challenges that civil servants were faced with.

Meanwhile, Mr Malupenga said therefore no deductions would be made from salaries of all civil servants for the next three months effective immediately.

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