Some workers at Lusaka’s Hotel Intercontinental have accused their General Manager Bruce Poter of racism after he accused them of stealing more than 450 Kilograms of meat.
The workers who have written a letter of complaint to President Edgar Lungu are asked the Head of State to intervene and save the hotel from crumbling.
Poter could, however, not be reached for a comment as he was said to be on leave and out of the country.
In the complaint letter addressed to the President, the workers alleged that between September 2017 and 2018, more than 80 staff had left the hotel due to frustrations instigated by the general manager.
The workers added that others left because they were forced to resign, while some were fired.
“Dear Sir, the standards of the hotel has fallen because the general manager doesn’t care about that. Between September 2017 and September 2018 more than 80 permanent and experienced staff have left. Some left because of frustrations by the general manager, some left because they were forced to resign, some left because they were fired, some left during the VSS. In January this year, the director of human resource was also forced to resign,” read the letter.
“Out of the four staff that were in H/R all have left and only the training manager is the one acting as H/R. In April this year the chief Engineer was put on redundancy, replaced by a junior staff. The assistant chief of security was fired and chief of security who worked for more than six years and who knows the security of the hotel was transferred to another department as a duty manager. The new chief of security was employed compromising the security of the hotel. The entire accounts senior staff has left, leaving only contracted staff. Most of the senior staff in house keeping, engineering, sales, P/R and purchasing department have left.”
The workers disclosed that on Friday October 5, 2018, Poter called a staff meeting where he accused them of stealing 450 Kilograms of meat and further charged that Zambians were accustomed to stealing.
“’You people in this country steal a lot; from January 2018, to September 2018, you have stolen more than 450 kg’s of meat. You Africans I know your background, most of you, come from homes were you use paraffin lights you do not have electricity… Stop stealing’,” the workers quoted Porter as saying.
“He does not consider the importance of an employee he thinks everyone is a thief. He is targeting long serving staff to be fired so that he can replace them with casuals. Everyone is working in fear because he threatens to fire people.”