“Over 127 out of 1,100 former Zambia State Insurance Corporation employees have
been died between 1991 and 2019 without collecting their retirement packages”, says ZSIC retirees national Chairman Pule Mwila.
Mr Mwila since called on the UPND to take a keen interest in their plight once it forms government in 2021.
Mr Mwila said the former ZSIC workers that were retrenched on 30th April 1991 have undergone untold misery and suffering leading to premature deaths, breaking of marriages, failure for children to start or complete their education while hunger and subsequent poor health have characterised the team that has been neglected by successive governments including the Patriotic Front.
He said terminal benefits amounting to over 34 million have remained unpaid since 1991 adding that the Committee has been at pains in the past 29 years to restrain the members against street demonstrations which would lead to violence and loss of life.
“Mr President, this culture of treating people that have made positive contribution to national development for many years should come to an end. This team here built Premium House in Lusaka, Mpundwa House in Ndola, Mukuni in Kabwe and many other investments. The way we have been treated for 29 years makes us wonder if truly the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation is biblical or a tool for suppression,” Mr Mwila said.
He added, “October 18th has no significance on us as fasting has becoming a natural phenomenon for us. We have had 29 years of patience but time to react has come. We are now ready for anything and repercussions”, he told UPND President Hakainde Hichilema and his National Management Committee at the Party Secretariat.
Mr Mwila has appealed to Mr. Hichilema and the UPND to help in rescuing the country from a greedy and selfish cadre of leaders.
He pledged to rally the huge team of retirees nationwide behind the UPND towards 2021 saying whoever looks after their interest shall remain their friend as they were a large group that cannot be ignored.
And Mr Hichilema says the PF should not heap the blame on past governments for its failure to pay the retirement packages as that is a responsibility of a sitting government.
He pledged to make the issue as one of his first responsibilities when the UPND assumes office.
President Hichilema said the government has enough resources to pay off the K34 million terminal benefits but it was the lack of political will on the part of the government to undertake such a payment.
“For 29 years, these people have been struggling without anyone paying an interest. It is not correct for the PF to say this is an MMD problem. The government of the day is the major shareholder in all parastatal companies and it doesn’t make economic sense for the PF to tell us that this is the MMD problem. These guys in PF have the capacity to pay out the K 34 million owed to our retirees but they just lack the interest in addressing the welfare of the majority Zambians, not only the retirees.“
“How can a normal government opt to buy a Presidential jet at over $ 100 million instead of attending to the plight of the retirees? What is needed for our friends here is merely a small amount as compared to what was spent towards the pleasure of one individual and a few of his selfish friends. We pledge to prioritise the paying of retirees once in government because we know that the money is available. But we shouldn’t wait for that long as people will die. More children will fail to get into school or complete their education. We join the rest of the country in demanding that government immediately pays the retirement packages to ZSIC and other retirees.”
“Mr Mwila, our hearts pour out to you and your team. This surely has been a difficult time for you. We are with you now and forever”, the UPND President added.