LIVINGSTONE’s Kubu Crafts General Manager Stephen Horligan has allegedly been insulting workers by calling them ‘baboons’ and ‘stupid black Africans’ each time he felt the workers were not working according to expectations.
This has prompted Livingstone District Commissioner Omar Munsanje to institute a team to investigate the alleged insults and racial remarks by Mr Horligan.
Speaking in an interview in Livingstone yesterday, Mr Munsanje said he received the disturbing allegations on Mr Horligan and he had since constituted a team of council officials to investigate the matter.
“I can confirm that I received a report last week in which workers from Kubu Crafts reported to Livingstone City Council that Mr Horligan was calling them baboons and stupid black Africans.
After hearing about this sad development, I tasked Dambwa Central Councillor Likando Liswani and Livingstone City Council Public relations Manager Emmanuel Sikanyika and another official to investigate this matter. I am still waiting for a report from this team,” Mr Munsanje said.
According to impeccable sources, who declined to be named, the team went to Kubu Crafts as assigned by Mr Munsanje last week where they discovered that Mr Horligan had left for external engagements.
Instead, Mr Horligan’s superior Roerf Bosman, who is Kubu Crafts managing director, was met and he requested to explain on reports that his subordinate was calling Zambian workers Baboons and stupid Africans each time he felt the workers were not working according to expectations.
In his response, Mr Bosman admitted that his General Manager’s supervision style was aggressive and at times extreme.
He however expressed ignorance that he had ever used words like Baboons and stupid black Zambians and other racially inclined remarks.
Mr Bosman told the investigating team that he had reprimanded Mr Horligan on a number of occasions telling him to refrain from using words like ‘fuck’ which were considered normal in some societies.
He also promised to carryout investigations and counsel his colleagues further. While at the plant, the investigation interviewed the union leaders who in turn confirmed the reports of harassment, intimidation and insults by Mr Horligan.
The union officials told the investigators that Mr Horligan had even gone to an extent of counting and regulating minutes the workers were taking when they went to answer the call of nature.
They explained that though the General Manager had toned down compared to the earlier times, he had continued to threaten workers of dismissal and non-renewal of contracts for no genuine reasons.
“The union leadership further reported that he usually dares them to report to the Managing Director claiming that he would not support blacks when he himself is a white man They said he would even accost workers for going to seek medication from clinics,” the source said.
The investigating team thanked the workers for their submissions and assured workers that they would find time to talk to Mr Horligan and present a report to relevant authorities.
Workers were requested to continue working hard for the company while noting and reporting any forms of bullying and inhuman treatment.