“I want the government to pay me my retirement benefits” former UNIP Secretary General Grey Zulu has demanded.
Mr Zulu has complained that since he retired from UNIP and government, his efforts to be paid his retirement benefits have been systematically obstructed.
“I know that government has paid some UNIP leaders and I have nothing against that. They deserve it but it is important that even those of us who participated in the struggle are also recognized so that we are equally paid retirement benefits for the effort we made in getting this country liberated,” he said.
Mr Zulu was appointed Minister of Commerce and Industry in 1964 and later moved to Transport and Works in the same year.
He was Minister of Mines and Co-operatives between 1965 and 1967; Minister of Home Affairs 1967 – 70; Minister of Defence 1970 – 73; Secretary General of the Party (equivalent to Vice President) 1973 – 78; Secretary of State for Defence and Security 1997 – 85; Secretary General 1986 – 91.
Mr Zulu explained that he had sued government and won the case but since then the matter had dragged on and that was when he decided to make another appeal to Parliament to be paid his terminal benefits.
He said Parliament had given benefits to other leaders of UNIP and the benefits were paid according to Act 3 of 1981, Act 5 of 1989 and Act 6 of 1990.
“When Parliament was dissolved by the president of UNIP, it allowed those who deserved retirement benefits to be paid and when they started paying my name was missing from the list.
“They told me that “You cannot be paid on this list because you are a senior leader in the party. You will be paid either by the Ministry of Finance or the government.
“I want someone, an institution or a group of lawyers to help me get my benefits. I appealed to the court to have my retirement benefits paid and won the case but government has kept quiet about it,” he said.
Mr Zulu explained that he had decided to engage the media in exposing the matter so that he could get assisted on how he could be paid his benefits.
“My appeal has not been transmitted to the high court. I started appealing in 2011 but I have received no reply to ascertain whether my appeal has been accepted or not,” he said.
Mr Zulu said he suspected that the Antony General was not willing to allow the matter to go into court after an appeal for reasons best known to themselves.
“I understand that there are procedures in attending to cases, if the case has not been completed in six year, they say the case is stale,” he said.
Mr Zulu said he would be grateful if a group of lawyers or the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) could form a group and volunteer to pursue the case because he had no money to take the case further.
“I have personally failed to take it to the high court because I have no money. I have not been paid anything since I retired from UNIP and government.
“I am among the leaders who formed a group of senior leaders to be paid under the Pensions Retirement Benefit and Gratuity,” he said.
Mr Zulu explained that Dr Kaunda had been given his benefits which include 10 hectors of land and a few houses for his workers at the farm.
He wondered what special offence he had committed for government to have him excluded from the retirement package.
“Where is the balance of Justice here? I am on record in the Ministry of Justice that I advocated highly for the payment of benefits to Dr Kaunda,” he explained.