Miners who were sent on forced leave by Luanshya Copper Mines in Luanshya this morning took to the streets in Roan Township blocking the Roan -Mpatamato road in a near riotous protest.
The miners are rejecting the K900 monthly salary effected this month.
And Luanshya District Commissioner Harold Mbaulu expressed disappointment at the action saying protesting was a sign of disrespect and lack of confidence in President Edgar Lungu who was in the province to address the issue among other challenges.
The irate miners, who gathered outside the Mine Workers Union of Zambia Roan Branch office, took to the streets after a failed attempt by District Commissioner Mbaulu to resolve the matter.
The miners demanded to meet the union representatives who were not in their offices.
The miners placed big logs across the road as they started throwing stones to oncoming vehicles, prompting police officers in riot gear to swing into action.
The miners were demanding for among other things to have their full salaries restored, know the date the LMC Baluba shaft would open and resume work, maintaining of their full pension and also to have direct audience with President Lungu and not through their unions when he visits the district on Tuesday next week.
They complained that this was not the first time the mine in Luanshya had gone on care and maintenance as this has happened on three occasions and all the time they got their full salaries, but wondered what was special this time around.
They complained that their salaries were negative as the banks were deducting the loans owed to them and that they were also faced with legal litigations as they were failing to pay back to other institutions and people they owed.
But Mr. Mbaulu assured the miners of government intervention into their requests saying President Lungu was on their side and that was why he was going to visit the district on Tuesday to resolve the mine issues once and for all.
He begged the miners to remain calm, noting that their grievances were genuine and that government was doing everything possible to safeguard their interests.
He implored the miners and other Luanshya residents to show solidarity to the President by remaining peaceful and present their petitions through a right channel to ensure that President Lungu attended to their plight.
Mr Mbaulu further urged the miners not to politicise the issue by refusing to dialogue and persisting to take a violent course as this will spoil their opportunity to be heard and have their grievances addressed.
About 1,640 employees at LMC Luanshya copper mines two months ago were sent on forced leave following Baluba mine being put on care and maintenance.
The action has seen miners getting a minimum of K900 salary from the initial K2800 for the least paid workers.
Last month, Chief Government Spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili assured the miners that government had engaged LMC on the matter and that they were going to continue receiving their full salaries despite being sent on forced leave.