By Tovin Ngombe
Maamba Collieries Retrenches Steering Committee (MCL-RSC) has appealed to government to promptly pay their money to save them from destitution.
The MCL-RSC Secretary Maunda Misebezi bemoaned that it was â€˜patheticâ€™ and hectic that government has taken so long to pay them their retrenchment packages since 1998.
Mr. Misebezi explained that when they were retrenched from Maamba Collieries there was an agreement that government would pay them their money adding that immediately they were flown to them they became destitute.
â€œGovernment should show some human face. I agree we are poor and but I can not accept that they have failed to raise funds that is deliberate,â€ Mr. Misebezi said.
Maamba Collieries retrenched 332 workers in 1998 and 1999 among them 127 have died and four were suicide cases said Mr. Misebezi.
â€œGovernment should be realistic after all it is our father and why should it abandon us like this we have gone through rough time, through hell and God should just burn us first,â€ the Secretary said.
The Secretary noted that although he was retrenched the Maamba mine was in shambles as every department has been paralysed.
Mr. Misebezi has urged his colleagues to be calm as they would meet Finance Minister
Ngandu Magande on Monday to discuss the matter.
He said government has only paid them 16 billion Kwacha since they were retrenched.
Mr Misebezi noted that the money looks to be enough on paper but the mode of payment has been bad owing to high number people to be paid.
Maamba Mine Manager Coin Siakachoma has also made a passionate appeal to government to look into the issue of retrenches and retirees.