COUNCILLORS in Kasama have threatened to resign if their salary demands are ignored and have since protested against Local Government and Housing Minister Vincent Mwale stance that civic leaders are part-time workers.
The councilors across the country are demanding for salaries and have since accused Mr Mwale of deliberately misleading the nation that they do not deserve a salary as they are part-time.
In a statement issued on behalf of Northern Province councilors, provincial co-ordinator Rodrick Mulenga said that councilors were disappointed with the sentiments made by Mr Mwale, who is also Chipangali MP, in his ministerial statement to Parliament.
Mr Mulenga threatened that councilors would resign if the Constitution was to be treated with contempt by a few individuals and also accused Mr Mwale of misleading the nation over the matter.
“As Northern Province councilors, we are disappointed with the ministerial statement to Parliament made by Vincent Mwale. That is a total abrogation of the Constitution with impunity,” he said.
Mr Mulenga argued that the minister was of the fact that his primary responsibility and duty was to protect and defend the Constitution as demanded by the Republican Constitution (part 1) under Article 2 (a) and (b).
He said that the minister’s statement for the award of mayors and councilor chairpersons’ emoluments based on full time and daily reporting to an office was unsatisfactory as a salary was awarded as a result of a service offered.
“Therefore, we claim an attachment of emoluments for the services we are rendering which in most cases surpass those of Members of Parliament in daily execution of duties in our respective wards.
“In our claim we make reference to article 264 (2) of the amended constitution stating that “the emoluments of the state officer, councilor, constitution officer holder and a judge shall be determined by the emoluments commission as prescribed,” he said.
The councilors have questioned how Mr Mwale or Local Government Ministry permanent secretary Amos Malupenga became the Emolument Commission to determine salaries for the mayors and chairpersons.
“As Northern Province councilors, we are ready to resign if the constitution will be treated with contempt by few individuals,” he said.
The councilors have also sought the intervention of President Edgar Lungu on the matter.
In his ministerial statement to Parliament Mr Mwale told the House that councilors were part-time workers and consequently did not deserve a salary.
Efforts to get a comment from Mr Mwale by press time proved futile as his phone went unanswered.