Workers at Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia today staged a peaceful demonstation and stormed the office of the Kafue District Commissioner Mr. Michael Bwalya demanding to be paid their four months salary arrears.
The workers also demanded that government should makes its stance known on the future of the company.
Hundreds of workers, who gathered at the DC’s office and were accompanied by Zambia police officers, wondered why government has not released money to the plant so that workers salaries are cleared.
They said it was surprising that the ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, which they fall under, is not telling them the truth as to what is happening to their money.
One of the workers, Mr. Robert Musanje said life for workers in Kafue Estates has becaome deplorable and families are facing hardships because of the non payment of salaries for the last four months.
He said it was not right for government to use a company to produce fertilizer and fail to pay for the commodity.
The workers also expressed shock that government did not provide any funds for the company in this year’s national budget.
They said government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives last year promised the company that it would budget K58 billion for recapitalization but that this is not the case.
The workers have vowed to continue assembling at the district commissioner’s office until government pays them their four months unpaid salaries.
They said it would be even better if government can privatise NCZ and pay the workers their terminal benefits instead making them suffer.
But Kafue District Commissioner Michael Bwalya appealed to the workers not to use violent means of expressing their grievances to government.
He commended the workers for staging a peaceful demonstration instead of wrecking havoc in the community.
He said government is aware of the problems at the plant and is doing everything possible to sustain NCZ and its operations.
Mr. Bwalya said it was unfortunate that the ministry of Agriculture has failed to handle matters at the plant properly and appealed to the ministry to find a solution to the problems th company was facing.
Mr. Bwalya assured the workers that he will personally see to it that worker’s problems are addressed and salaries are paid soon.