Some former workers of Mosi-Oa-Tunya Intercontinental Hotel, Rainbow Lodge and Eagle Travel, in Livingstone, have called on President Edgar Lungu to expedite the setting up of the commission of inquiry on privatisation of national assets.
The former workers, who marched through the central business district of Livingstone before presenting a petition to Southern Province Minister, Edify Hamukale, were joined by children to some deceased former workers.
Ernest Kapikanya, who represented former Rainbow Lodge workers, appealed to President Lungu to ensure the commission of inquiry is set up so that the privatisation debate is settled once and for all.
Mr. Kapikanya said the sale of the assets sent many workers into destitution.
And Mary Mukwiza, who was working for the Mosi-oa-Tunya Intercontinental Hotel at the time the facility was privatised, appealed to President Lungu not to back down on the setting up of the commission of inquiry.
Mrs. Mukwiza said the privatisation issue has to be settled now that the country has a President that has shown interest to do the right thing.
She said commission of inquiry will also help the former workers to get paid the money that they have been denied access to for over 20 years.
And Former Zambezi Sawmills worker, Royd Muwowo, who also joined the petitioners, appealed to President Lungu to extend the commission of inquiry’s mandate to look into the sale of Zambezi Sawmill assets.
Meanwhile, Nora Lungu, who represented the orphans, bemoaned that many of the children of the former workers have failed to complete their education after their parents lost their jobs at the hands of privatisation.
And Chairperson Felix Daka said the petitioners are convinced that some negotiators deliberately failed to declare interest when they privatised the assets, for personal gain.
Mr. Daka also appealed to the Anti-Corruption Commission -ACC- to take interest in the privatisation matter and ensure those found wanting are brought to book.
And Southern Province Minister, Edify Hamukale, assured the petitioners that their petition will be delivered to President Lungu.
Dr. Hamukale said he will plead with the President to ensure a commission of inquiry as requested by the petitioners is put in place.
He said he is equally saddened that the privatization process only benefited a few individuals while sending many into destitution due to job losses.