PARAMILITARY police officers at the Lilayi main camp have complained that management has been making deductions on their salaries as contributions for projects within the camp without their consent.
But Zambia Police spokesperson Esther Katongo says the affected officers should complain to their commanding officer because the service has channels of airing out grievances.
One of the officers, who sought anonymity, told News Diggers! in an interview that for a period of four months, deductions of K100 every month were made for the construction of a wall fence around the camp.
“These guys have been deducting money from our salaries without getting our consent! Last time, they imposed some deductions on officers’ salaries for four months. They were deducting K100 each month, saying that they were building a wall fence surrounding the camp. Quite alright they built the fence, but they used cheap labour. They used recruits to do the work and the blocks, which they used together with the cement were given by AVIC International, meaning they squandered the money. No officer agreed to the same deductions. They just started deducting and it went on for four months! The issue was in Parliament and the Vice-President (Inonge Wina) said ‘officers agreed,’ but none of us agreed to that,” the officer disclosed.
The officer said management had effected more deductions towards the construction of a banquet hall.
“After that past, again, there is a new thing, now. This is the second month they are deducting. They are deducting K100 from constables and for sergeants, they are deducting K12, K140 just like that. And they are saying that the deductions will go on for 12 months! And again, nobody agreed. They are just imposing these things on officers because we don’t have a union where we can run to. I have a premonition that this thing will go on. Another project will come up and they will do the same. Should civil servants honestly be doing government projects with their monies with this economy?” the officer complained.
“The establishment of the paramilitary is about 1,000 plus officers, and if you calculate, that money is a lot. And just for a banquet hall, how big will that banquet hall be, which will cost all that money? And the one who started it is now transferred as the new Commissioner for Luapula (Elias Chushi) in these transfers, which took place recently. They have brought the deputy for Lusaka, who is now under paramilitary. They just put a memo and whether you agree or don’t agree, they will just start deducting, which is against people’s will. Some people have loans to pay. That’s just adding more burdens on people’s loans.”
According to one of the payslips availed, the salaries had the following deductions: Pension EE contribution K225.67; Zambia Police Mess K100; Zambia Police Thrift Social K100, Pension; National Health Insurance K31.13; Funeral Premium x2 K21.82; P.A.Y.E K20.59; Police Sports Fund K18.50; and Funeral Insurance EE K12.45 with all deductions totalling to K530.16.
But Katongo advised all affected officers to air out their grievances to their commanding officer saying the Service had established channels of communication.