92 former BP Zambia workers, who won a court case regarding final salary pension scheme have issued a 7-day ultimatum to Saturnia Regna Pension Trust Fund owned by Hakainde Hichilema to pay up the outstanding K457m.
Group representative and lead plaintiff Expendito Chipalo said the representatives of the 92 workers (236 families) will deliver the Petition at 09:30 Hours at Mr. Hichilema’s home on Tuesday 24th May 2016.
The 92 workers who have been battling in court with Hichilema’s pension fund for over 20 years for their pension benefits to be paid said they could not wait any longer as many of their members had died.
They warned that if Mr. Hichilema does not pay within the 7 days, the 236 families will camp at his home until he paid their money.
Recently the former BP workers finally won the case in the Supreme Court ordering Saturnia Regna Pension to settle immediately the Pension Benefits.
On 28th April 2016, the assessment court also ruled in favour of the former BP workers but Hichilema has raised another technical appeal despite the final Supreme Court Ruling.
For the last 20 years the company has used all sorts of legal gymnastics to evade paying the workers’ pension benefits.
In January 1995, Saturnia Regna Pension Trust took over the administration of the BP Pension Scheme from the Zambia State Insurance Corporation.
Saturnia received initial contribution of K1.5 billion and the fund grew to K22.7 billion then.
With benefits and interests, the workers’ fund has grown to excess of K457m.
After this Saturnia began to procrastinate to pay due pension claims insisting that workers would only be paid after age 55 years or at death.
“This was crude theft of our pension savings”.
Both the High Court and Supreme Court have ruled in favour of the workers saying the action by Saturnia was contrary to the Income Tax Act and pension laws.
Mr. Chipalo said the representative will deliver a petition at 09:30 Hours today and warned that the 236 family members will next Tuesday camp at Mr. Hichilema’s home indefinitely, until he paid their money.
They said threats and attacks will not deter them as this was their money that they have patiently waited for 20 years.