BINGA Rural District Council is embroiled in a wrangle with 11 former employees, who were retrenched in December last year, but are yet to receive their severance packages.
BY SILAS NKALA
The wrangle was ignited after council purportedly recruited more employees and re-engaged some of the retrenched workers on contract.
The 11 former council workers yesterday said they were retrenched on December 31, 2017, and are yet to receive their packages.
“When we were retrenched, we were promised to be given all terminal benefits, as per the law, but to date, we have not been paid anything except about $400 we were give soon after the termination of our contracts,” one former worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
“By retrenching us, the council wanted to be able to meet other remaining workers’ salary obligations, but we later noticed that the chief executive officer, Joshua Muzamba, had started recruiting new people to fill in our positions.
This means the whole thing was not a cost-cutting measure, as they claimed because some of the new employees occupy higher grades.”
The workers said they, at some point, took the matter to the courts, but the local authority administration approached them, asking them to sign some payment agreements.
Council presented the signed documents in court as proof of retrenchment.
“The council owes us amounts ranging between $9 000 and $17 000,” another former worker said.
“We appeal to the government to intervene and save us from this unfair labour practice.”
Muzamba said he could not comment on the matter because all processes were followed from retrenchment to payment of packages.
“I cannot comment on that, there are processes, which are being done, other than that all processes were done above board and it would be not right for me to comment further on that issue,” he said.