Former workers of Mansa Batteries and Kawambwa Tea Estates said the closure of companies after privatisation turned their lives upside down and have since called on Government to consider re-entry and acquisition of the Mansa Battery factory which lies in a dilapidated state.
And Ms Chrispin Sikombe, a widow who worked at Mansa Batteries described privatisation as a sickness which sent their loved ones to early graves but also destroyed families in Mansa.
The workers and their families who marched along the streets of Mansa to the provincial administration complained of being owed K8,311,609.12 in terminal benefits since the closure of Mansa Batteries by its new owners after the State-owned company was sold off.
“We worked for State-owned industries from our Province with pride. These industries sustained our livelihoods. We lived our lives with hope that even in old age, we would enjoy the benefits of having worked for these companies but the opposite is true because of the manner These key industries were privatised,” said group chairperson Emmanuel Mwale.
The former workers said they support calls for to probe the manner in which Mansa Batteries, Kawambwa Estates, Mununshi Estates and other state-owned companies were privatised.
“We need a probe into the privatisation and closure of State-owned companies. The Commission of Inquiory will help Government to know where were responsible for the plunder of national assets. We support the re take-over of companies that were not properly privatised, without following the law”
And Ms Sikombe said privatisation of our companies turned most of workers into beggars while many families disintegrated. She tearfully called on President Lungu to never back down but inquire into the privatisation cancer for the sake of learning vital lessons.
“Our only hope now rests with President Lungu to help us survive through empowering us in any way he deems it fit so we can live dignified lives. We don’t want to be beggars,” She said.