Wynter Kabimba’s ignorance as a lawyer is seriously alarming to the PF government and Zambia. It’s seems UPND President Hakainde Hichilema is better placed to interpret labour laws than the loose cannon known as Wynter.
The premature retiring of the six journalists at the Times of Zambia is wrong not only in labour law but also wrong in terms of press freedom in Zambia.
Bob Sianjalika, Patson Phiri, Abel Mboozi, Richard Mulonga, Obert Simwanza and Whitney Mulobela are being retired for political reasons and this is why management at Times has no grounds to dismiss them over such an absurd decision. They have all been accussed of allegedly being connected to UPND and the MMD – in other words, for the first time in history, the government is “cleaning house” to purge any member of the state media that is not an avowed member of their party.
The Industrial Relations and Labour Act prohibits employers from punishing employees based on political opinion. George Chellah and Amos Malupenga (former Post journalists, now PF government officials) are behind this and think they can run Times of Zambia and Daily Mail the same way they run The Post.
Chellah, Sata’s press aide, and Malupenga, the information permanent secretary, are not new to this type of witchhunt which they use by being high-level bootlickers. They are never ashamed of bootlicking their superiors. Their colleagues at The Post including Fred M’membe can tell a better story about these two guys.
Now, they are heavily bootlicking Sata and Kabimba the same way they did with Post editor Fred M’membe. They want to please Sata by pruning innocent journalists who were carrying out their duties based on instructions from their supervisors.
That is why Wynter is defending the decision to surprisingly retire six journalists with an average age of 32.
As a lawyer Wynter knows or needs some education about the Times of Zambia collective agreement comparing it with the Industrial Relations Labour Act.
Wynter is trying to say to HH that if UPND or any other political party assumes office in 2016, all those reporters getting instructions from PF political appointees Nick Shabolyo and Godfrey Malama (Times of Zambia) and Anthony Mukwita and Isaac Chipampe (Daily Mail) should all be retired in whatever interest.
This means apart from obviously, Shabolyo, Malala, Mukwita and Chipampe, people like Dean Mwaanga, Anthony Mulowa, Pauline Banda and all those currently perceived PF friendly journalists will lose their jobs when there is change of government.
Where is job security for journalists if their jobs will be at the mercy of cadres like Chellah and Malupenga. Those at Times and Daily Mail are better professional journalists than Chellah and Malupenga.
Chellah and Malupenga should know that Times and Daily Mail are not private institutions like The Post, the defunct Chronicle or where bootlicking gets you a management position.
These are government institutions funded by tax-payers not one individual. Wynter is the one commenting with deliberate little knowledge while HH is speaking for the plight of the youths PF promised more jobs not early retirement.