By Wiseman Tembo.
Perennial presidential candidate, Hakainde Hichilema, has promised the people of Zambia and civil servants in particular that once voted into power he would reduce the retirement age from 65 to 55. He made the promise today the 11th day in the month of November 2020, when he featured on Radio Ichengelo.
Mr. Hichilema who is seeking to be “Public Servant Number One” must know better that he already falls under his proposed retirement age of 55 because he is 58 years old. I know that the retirement age would not be applicable to him as President in an unlikely event he won but as a saying goes “what good for the goose is good for the gander.”
I shudder at the thought of civil servants being forced to retire at 55 when they still have alot to offer to the country. What a blunder!
Desperation will force HH to make fake, wrong and abnormal promises. The normal retirement age (NRA) in our region is between 60-75, there is a reason why it is not at 55. For instance in South Africa it’s 60, in Bostwana it’s 65, in Congo it’s 65, in Angola it’s 60, in Zimbabwe it’s 65 and in Tanzania it’s 60 years. Zambia will be an exceptional case if we reduced it to 55.
Why does Mr. Hichilema, a 58 year old think reducing the retirement age to 55 is the ultimate solution to job creation? It’s now clear for all to see that he has no clear plans of creating jobs for the youths. Government can not employ everyone even with a reduced retirement age.
I believe ourselves and our neighboring countries are not “stupid” not to have put the retirement age at 55 because this disadvantages the country due to the fact that alot of significant asset in terms of human resource skills and abilities will not have been fully utilized with 55 as a retirement age.
I know 2021 elections will be Mr. Hichilema’s sixth attempt and he is very desperate but he must not allow desperation to get the best of him because it leads to actions taken without much analysis and thinking.
About The Author: Mr. Wiseman Tembo is a Social and Economic Issues Analyst.
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