Zambia Police yesterday fired tear gas to disperse irate Ndola City Council (NCC) retirees protesting at the civic centre.
The angry retirees who are demanding for settlement of benefits which they stated have been in arrears for the last 17 years, stood ground and did not disperse but proceeded to lock up access gates, doors to the institution locking workers inside.
Speaking in interview, retirees Chairperson Kenny Matavu expressed disappointment with the current Management at NCC calling for their dismissal.
Mr.Matavu accused the Townclerk of not heeding to the directive from Local Government Permanent secretary to pay them.
He disclosed that the representative recently sat a meeting with the Ndola Mayor Amon Chisenga who assured them that the local authority was ready to commence settling them of the arrears being owed.
He said the retirees took the mayors word and convened at the civic centre hoping to get their money but where informed that both Town clerk and Mayor where out of office.
“The retirees are angered because of the lies that the leadership at NCC has continue to peddle in their intrest to delay settling what is owed to us.
Our cry is to the Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo to intervene in this matter because the local authority senior most personnel is not being truthful.
Our colleagues are deceased and have left behind orphans and widows who are in dire need of the money.
We have waited for too long clocking 17 years this year since we left employment. Why are we being mistreated for demanding what is owed to us,” he asked.
Mr.Matavu produced letter dated 11th November,2016 from Ministry of local government Permanent secretary Amos Malupenga addressed to the NCC Town Clerk on failure to produce records pertaining to the claim of non- implementation of 2001,50 percent salary award.
“The letter with reference to the report MLGHCBP/101/7/2 from the Copperbelt local government office,the permanent secretary advised the local authority to attach the matter with the urgency it deserves, stressing that failure to submit original list of claimants was delaying comfortable settlement of the issue.
And the letter reads,warning to ndola city council that should they still fail to produce documents by 18th November 2016 ,the PS is to make decision without the councils submission.
The letter states clearly that principal local government auditor who chaired meeting in Lusaka intimated the Ndola city council had failed to produce our records in that meeting and we have made frantic efforts to inquire if it has submitted as per subject of the query from the Ministry but the response is not satisfactory.
However Ndola District Commissioner George Chisulo held closed door meeting with the retiree’s representative and senior police officers.
Upon imaging from the meeting , Mr.Matavu informed the retirees that the Townclerk and Mayor where reported out of office in Lusaka and the DC had since advised them that they (retirees) commence fresh legal proceeding against the local authority.
Hpwever the retirees protested that the issue had been exhausted up the supreme court and opted to returned on Monday next week and seek audience with the Council senior personnel
Over 400 NCC retirees are claiming settlement of 50 percent increment arrears.