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STOP TRIBAL ACCUSATIONS, HH URGED

By SIMON MUNTEMBA

PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema should stop accusing his predecessors of having fired civil servants based on tribal grounds when he has recently done the same on civil servants who had active contracts of public service, the Centre for Constitutionalism and Legal Justice (CONLEJ) has charged.

Centre director, Isaac Mwanza claimed that a good number of public service workers who were recently dismissed by President Hichilema had active contracts of public service.

Mr Mwanza said in an interview that they were concerned that Mr Hichilema’s pronouncement, upon his arrival from the United Kingdom, did not match his actions when it comes to fighting tribalism, protecting the right to employment and against unfair dismissals. 

“President Hichilema, while seeming to believe in the right of all persons to employment and against unfair dismissals based on political and tribal grounds, has himself continued to make dismissals of public service workers which may amount to unfair, political or even tribal dismissals. 

“A good number of public service workers dismissed by Mr Hichilema, including Service Chiefs, Intelligence Chiefs, revenue and senior police officers, Secretaries to Cabinet, Treasury, etc all had active contracts of public service,” Mr Mwanza said.

He said that the workers were dismissed by the new dawn Government without a just cause and due process required by Article 173(3) of the Constitution of Zambia. 

The reinstatements, he said, using a secretive process and compromising institutions that dismissed them, are in themselves a recipe for promoting tribal hegemony and a sense of tribal superiority among public service workers. 

“Mr Hichilema is setting a very dangerous precedent,” he said.

Mr Mwanza predicted that in the near future, persons who have been dismissed by Mr Hichilema would only need to plead unfair dismissals based on their tribe when another President assumes office and may be reinstated with all lost benefits that should have accrued.

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