Editor's PickPower and Politics

‘Big thieves lived in Lusaka,’ Hichilema rationalizes decentralization of governance to rural areas


President Hakainde Hichilema says national resources were stolen through corruption under the past administrations because ‘big thieves’ lived in Lusaka.

Hichilema said with this realisation, the United Party for National Development (UPND) government decided to fully operationalise the decentralization policy by taking resources to the people.

Hichilema said through decentralization, his administration had increased the Constituency Development Fund which had been taken away from the corrupt politicians in Lusaka to Constituencies.

The Head of State said this in Solwezi, North Western Province on Wednesday during the celebration of the International Labour Day, celebrated under the theme “Building Resilience: Workers at the heart of Zambia’s Economic Recovery.”

“No team work at the office, on the farm, at the mines, no unity, no team work results in low productivity. We celebrate today’s labour day with an understanding that Zambia is one. In the homes, in the markets, that’s why we have stopped those fights in markets, bus stations,” he said.

Hichilema stated that law and order was part of his administrations agenda to unify the country despite other people not seeing this.

“We think Lusaka is bambazonke, then that’s why your money was being stolen through corruption. Then we still think the big thieves live in Lusaka that’s is why we have taken away the money from the big thieves to the provinces, districts all the way to the Constituency level,” he said.

The Head of State stated that it was deliberate, methodical, intentional to send money to the people who would in the end set what priorities needed to be funded.

Labour and Social Security Minister, Brenda Tambatamba, announced that a draft Bill of the amended Employment Code Act Number 3 of 2019 had been developed.

Tambatamba said within the course of the month, the Ministry would embark on a comprehensive stakeholders consultative process.

“Child labour remains a challenge as unscrupulous employers are taking advantage of children by using them as cheap labour, while in some instances, the community is ignorant about illegality surrounding the scourge,” she added.

Read More: Underutilization of Constituency Development Fund worries ruling party, UPND

The minister stated that the Ministry approached the issue through enforcement of the law and enhanced sensitization through district child labour committees which was a multi sectoral set up.

Tambatamba said the committees report to the national committee chaired by the Permanent Secretary responsible for labour.

Ealier, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Country Director, Wellington Chibebe, indicated that the areas of work for this year would focus on supporting government towards enhancing productivity levels across all sector

“ILO would support government’s programmes especially those on Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, which are key to the growth and development of Zambia’s economy,” Chibebe said.

He stated that ILO believed that MSMEs were a major source of job creation, innovation, and economic growth.

Chibebe said ILO, through the European Union funded Skills for Increased Employability Programme, is supporting government to upgrade training facilities, narrowing the skills mismatch and gaps, by linking industry to training and education.

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