Finance Minister Margret Mwakatwe’s announcement that the Patriotic Front(PF) Government intends to empower 1000 School leavers to work in the gulf but must pay K15 000 application fees has left United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia(UPPZ) National Spokesperson Francis Kope teething with rage.
And Mr Kope say UPPZ will ensure that it gives Zambians dignified jobs so that they do not aspire to be waiters/waiteless and maids in other.
The ostensibly distraught Kope wondered where school leavers who cannot afford to secure places at Universities due to financial constraints can find K15 000 to pay for application forms to work in the gulf.
“… Now, this is what we have been talking about that Ministers have chunks of money and wherever they look, there is money, there is free money and they can give cadres free money to sponsor violence, so they think that an ordinary Zambian, a school leaver, someone whose parents have struggled to see them through to grade 12 , should look for a K15 000, wherever it would come from, to pay applying for employment. That is very unfair for the youthful population we have in Zambia.
People are struggling to find money to take their children to school, they can’t even pay cheap colleges that are charging K3 000 and you think a school leaver can afford to pay K15 000.
K15 000 is gratuity to those people who have worked for some companies for two years. So, where do you think a school leaver will find such kind of money?
He alleged that this may just be a fundraising venture for the ruling party.
“It is clear that our colleagues in the PF are not interested in helping anyone, they are only interested in helping themselves because they know that this is a fundraising venture. We are seeing how the PF Government are looking for money from everywhere. We had a situation where it was agreed that the Ministry of Finance, through the Ministry of Education will be recovering loans from students who have benefited from the University of Zambia and Copperbelt University student loan and bursary.
After the system was put in place to recover that money, what we are seeing is students being deprived their meal allowance.
He regretted that the PF that promised more money in people’s pocket is overburdening ordinary Zambians with taxes.
“…So left, right and center, the PF wants to tax ordinary Zambians. If you are a student, there is no meal allowance for you and if you are a school leaver, you can’t go to the university. So, how can you find employment? I think this kind of extortion is too much. You cannot treat your own citizens like this. This is unacceptable,” Mr Kope said.
He called on Ms Mwanakatwe to revisit her announcement.
“We are calling upon the Minister of Finance to revisit her statement and we demand that they reconsider what they are doing and ensure that whatever they are doing is aimed at empowering Zambians as opposed to fattening their pockets. That is why Ministers are being arrested for corruption because there is too much free money and they think everyone has a luxury of paying the K15 000,” he said.
Speaking at the PF interactive meeting, Mwanakatwe said the PF government has collaborated with the Gulf region to send 1,000 Zambians per year to Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates to work as waiters/waitresses, drivers and maids.
Mrs Mwanakatwe stated that the PF promised the Zambian people jobs as espoused in its manifesto and that an opportunity had arisen for many ordinary Zambians to travel abroad for work in an honest and safe manner.
She said men and women between the ages of 25 and 40 who are able to speak and write in English with a genuine grade 12 certificate, a valid passport and a driver’s license in the case of drivers, are encouraged to apply.
She explained that the salary plus commission they would be getting as drivers and maids ranged between K10,000 and K15,000.
She urged all well-meaning citizens who are in need of a job and meet the set criteria to apply so that they can go and make an honest living which will enable them help their families back home in Zambia.
She further stated that many people had gone abroad to do similar kind of jobs and had gone missing never to be heard of again but that going in a coordinated manner under the government program offered security as government departments such as the immigration, the department of home affairs as well as department of foreign affairs would all be involved and that everyone leaving would be monitored in their country of posting which provides safety for them.
Mrs Mwanakatwe who is also Lusaka Central Member of Parliament took time to advise those that would get the jobs to be honest and hardworking stating that at any sign of misconduct, they would be sent right back home to Zambia and would be black listed for similar opportunities in the future.
And Mr Kope said UPPZ will give employment that will benefit the Zambian citizens.
“As UPPZ, we intend to do things differently because we want empowerment and employment that will directly benefit the general populace because we know that there is high unemployment levels among the youth and that is a cause of high poverty levels. As UPPZ, we want to make sure that finding employment will not be burden on somebody searching for that employment. That is why the wish and will of President Chanda is to see to it that we enhance productive activities within our country so that we empower our youth generation so that we may have a situation where we are seeking to be maids and waitress/waiters in other countries. We need to dignify or give dignity to our people,” he said.