POLICE in Chingola used teargas to disperse Konkola Copper Mines workers who blocked roads in the district in protest for bad working conditions.

And Police have arrested 20 protesting workers who have been detained and charged with the offence of conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace.

The more than 2,000 workers, from KCM Contracting Companies gathered at Watson Stadium demanding for improved conditions of service.

The workers were also demanding to be employed on permanent basis by KCM.

KCM Mineral Resources Director Enock Ponda made efforts to engage with the workers in finding an amicable solution, but the contractors went on to block roads in protest.

Copperbelt Police Commissioner Elias Chushi said his offers were forced to act after the workers started to block roads.

Chushi said in the process 20 workers were arrested and charger with conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace.

“They were addressed by KCM Mineral Resource Director Mr Enock Ponda who assured the gathering to choose representatives from their respective companies and outline their grievances within 72 hours to KCM Management. Despite the assurance the workers mobilised themselves and started blocking the roads. The police advised them to disperse peacefully but they couldn’t,” said Chushi.

“Eventually, Police discharged tear-smoke and managed to restore order. Police clad in Riot gear are still patrolling the streets and Twenty unruly people have been apprehended and charged with Conduct likely to cause the breach of peace and still in Police custody.”