Essential government services in Kabwe were yesterday paralysed following the downing of tools by ZAMPOST, Fire Brigade and Local Authority workers who are demanding to be paid their five months’ salary arears.
A check by News Diggers! found the Post Office, Fire Brigade and Kabwe Municipal Council offices closed with members of the public going back with disappointment.
Meanwhile Kabwe Municipal Council workers have expressed annoyance at Town Clerk Ronald Daka who they say has been telling lies to the media that the workers are owed three months’ salaries when its actually five months.
Zambia United Local Authorities Workers Union (ZULAWU) Kabwe Branch Chairperson, Ronald Kapinga said they had resorted to stop work because their efforts to engage management on the non-payment of salaries had fallen on deaf ears.
“The last time workers were paid was October and November, that is, for Division 4 workers. For Division 2 and 1, this is the sixth month now. We have engaged management before but things have not worked to our favour and this is why we have resorted to stop work,” Kapinga said.
Meanwhile, Kapinga said the statement by the Town Clerk, Ronald Daka that the Local Authority owed workers only three months’ salary arears was false.
“The TC issued a statement to the media that our workers are owed only three months’ salary arears is not true. It’s very unfortunate that he can tell such lies to the media,” said Kapinga.
And Fire Services Union of Zambia, Kabwe Branch Chairperson, Clarence Tembo vowed that fire-fighters would not resume work until they were paid their five months’ salary arears.
He lamented that the non-payment of salaries had subjected them to untold misery; with most of them failing to pay rentals and take their children to school.
“The operation at Fire Brigade is paralysed until we are paid our five months’ salary arears. 80 percent of our officers have been evicted from their houses because of failing to pay rentals. If an officer is affected like this? How can government expect us to carry out a proper rescue operation? This cry is genuine because it is just too much!” said Tembo.