By ADRIAN MWANZA
THE debt swap was implemented to cushion the burden civil servants faced following the biting economic challenges resulting from Covid-19 and is not a political gimmick, the Patriotic Front (PF) has said.
PF official, Mulenga Sata said the previous government wanted to help civil servants who were embroiled in debt and came up with a programme to help them have some breathing space.
He said that it was unfortunate that some civil servant union groups were claiming that the move was a political gimmick aimed at hoodwinking civil servants to vote for the PF.
“For me, I feel that there is nothing wrong with the move to introduce the debt swap because most of these workers accrued huge amounts of debt through loans and a debt swap was the only thing prudent to do at the moment, Mr Sata said.
Mr Sata, who is the son of founding father of the PF Michael Sata, said that he was shocked that certain union leaders were attacking the previous government even when it was looking out for their plight.
Recently, the new UPND government announced that it had suspended the debt swap for two months and such calls were supported by certain civil servants unions.
Meanwhile, Mr Sata said that it did not matter about the timing but that in companies like Zesco, they had conducted the process which was a success.
“If you look at Zesco they conducted the process and it worked just fine for them, that was the rationale with the previous government, they just wanted to boost the civil service which was under pressure if you ask me,” he said.
Mr Sata called on the doomsayers not to politicise the process just because of the timing which was about a month before the August 12 elections.
He said that he hoped that the new administration would not do away with it because it would cripple the civil servants.