Former Zambia Postal Services (ZAMPOST) workers retrenched in 2015 have reacted angrily to Copperbelt Minister Elisha Matambo’s statement suggesting that all was well in the province and that the Government has paid retirees benefits.
When welcoming President Hichilema to the Copperbelt where he officiated at the National Agriculture Field Day in Mpongwe District on Friday, Mr. Matambo said the people in the province are happy with the New Dawn government’s achievements that including paying of retirees.
But speaking on behalf of retrenched ZAMPOST workers on the Copperbelt, Anthony Nkandu said Mr. Matambo lied to President Hichilema.
Mr. Nkandu said former ZAMPOST workers on the Copperbelt have not been paid their benefits.
Mr. Nkandu said former ZAMPOST workers are disappointed with Mr. Matambo for telling President Hichilema last Friday that retirees have been paid benefits when in fact not.
He said Zambians are not expecting ministers in the New Dawn government to tell lies.
“When our President Hakainde Hichilema came to the Copperbelt on Friday at the airport, the Provincial Minister Mr. Elisha Matambo lied that people on the Copperbelt are fine. He also said the President had done well to pay retirees benefits but as former Zampost workers we have not been paid our benefits. Worse off Zampost management has removed us from the payroll. We don’t get salaries. The law states that if you retire or retrench someone leave them on payroll as they wait for benefits. It’s now over three years we no longer get our salaries. So we are furious that Mr. Matambo lied to our President that retirees have been paid on the Copperbelt and that all was well in the province,” Mr. Nkandu said.
The Zambia Postal Services (ZAMPOST) in 2015 retrenched 98 workers due to competition from private entities.
“We are very sad. We have not been paid benefits as former Zampost workers retrenched in 2015. If government has indeed sourced money for retirees it means former Zampost workers have been left out. The President and the nation should know that Mr. Matambo lied. We are in New Dawn government where people should not tell lies. It is very unfortunate that a Minister could tell lies. If you want to prove this go to the Zampost head office and inquire about our situation as retrenched Zampost workers they will tell,” he said.
Mr. Nkandu said former ZAMPOST workers want President Hichilema to help them get their terminal benefits.
He said the retirees are suffering after being removed from the payroll by management even though they have not been paid benefits.
“We are requesting our President to look at our situation and ensure that former Zampost workers are paid their terminal benefits quickly. We have suffered for too long. Imagine being retrenched for over seven years. We are even failing to pay our rentals. We know our President listens to people’s concerns and he will hear our plea. But we repeat Mr. Matambo lied to the head of state.Please Mr. President look at former Zampost workers with pit. We have suffered for too long,” Mr. Nkandu said.
ZAMPOST Master General Brighton Ngoma last August told the media that his management had engaged Government on the matter and it is willing to take up the payment of the former workers.
Last December, President Hichilema announced that the UPND government had started paying off the retirees who spent many years waiting for their pension.
In a facebook post the President said the 2022 budget, has allocated K2.1 billion to dismantle the outstanding arrears.
The Ministry of Finance and National Planning in January, 2022 released K1.46 billion for social protection programmes of which K1 Billion was targeted at paying pensioners under the Public Service Pensions Fund (PSPF).