United Party for National Development (UPND) Nchanga Constituency Aspiring Parliamentary Candidate Derrick Chilundika has said that it is not the Saturnia pension scheme that is holding on to ex-miners’ money but the current law that governs pension schemes and called for its immediate amendment.
Reacting to reports of ex-miners threatening to march on UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema to demand their dues, Mr. Chilundika said that miners should blame the current government who have failed to amend the law.
Mr. Chilundika dispelled insinuations that UPND President Hakainde Hichilema has failed to pay former miners their dues.
“The current KCM pension scheme is no longer in Regina Saturnia as alleged by some propagandists who want to serve face. People and particularly ex-miners should know that their private scheme is under an organization called BENCON financial services and not Saturnia.
“The truth of the matter is that under Regina Saturnia scheme, miners used to get their full (100%) retirement package, unlike the current situation. The Copperbelt has 22 MPs out of which 20 are for the ruling PF. Are they telling us that they are not aware of this law,” Mr. Chilundika asked.
Mr. Chilundika said the UPND is demanding for the immediate amendment of the current pensioner’s scheme law and income Tax Act and avoid pointing fingers at innocent private individuals while knowing very well that the hold is a statutory and not institutional problem.
“Why is it that in November 2019 the Miner’s union went to parliament to meet the mines and finance ministers if this issue does not concern the Government. As the UPND, we are not going to relax until miners start getting their benefits in full. The pf government should stop telling lies and pointing fingers at an innocent individual because what is holding the ex-miners is a statutory instrument which was introduced by the same PF government. Am now urging all serving miners, ex-miners and their families to become UPND campaign managers, he added.
In a letter dated 3rd July 2020 addressed to the Executive Committee of ex-miners, Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba said the ex-miners request to waive statutory provisions in order to allow their members access the remainder of the 50 percent of the pension through a lump sum as opposed to monthly annuities is not legally tenable.
Mr. Yamba advised the association to subscribe to the monthly annuities as provided for in the KCM pension scheme rules and in line with the provisions of the income tax Act and pension scheme regulations.
Ex KCM miners through their Chairman Ilunga Kasompe threatened to march against President Hichilema on Friday this week unless Regina Saturnia provides a roadmap on how it intends to dismantle their remaining pension dues.