Saturday, June 22, 2024

Worker protest leaves one dead, two others injured in Kasama

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One person has been killed while two others are nursing injuries, at Northern Coffee Corporation in Kateshi area in Kasama district, Northern province.

The incident follows a protest by casual workers at the company who were demanding increased salaries and improved conditions of service.

It is alleged that the man identified as Noble Mulenga, 35, died after he was hit by a stray bullet that was fired by police officers, who were trying to disperse the crowd.

Kasama District Commissioner, Elizabeth Goma, who was found at the company holding meetings with management, workers, and union representatives has expressed sadness at the death of the employee.

Mrs Goma said the death of Mr. Mulenga could have been avoided if there was a good work relationship between management and its workers.

She said it is important for the company to find an amicable way of resolving misunderstandings with their subordinates.

Mrs. Goma noted that workers also need to follow the right channel when engaging management through their unions, to air out all concerns regarding poor salaries.

She has since expressed regret at the death of the man, while calling for a thorough investigation to identify the persons who were responsible for inciting violence.

Earlier, the union representatives wanted to get management to increase their salaries.

Justine Filumba, a union representative said commotion started after the casual workers started demanding for the company management to address them over the meagre salaries.

Mr. Filumba said workers have been calling for better salaries and wanted management to assure them of better salaries.

He added that workers at the company are getting as little as K34 per day and between K600 and K800 per month which he said is too little considering the increase in food and non-food items on the market.

“People wanted to discuss with HR to see how much they would be getting to and confusion ensued and that is when police fired a shot and one person was killed in the process,” he said.

The money that people are getting is too little they get K34 and they get about K540-800 but with the increase in items how can people survive and they also need to use part of that to support their children to school,” he said.

And another employee, Esther Musonda, bemoaned management’s failure to look at the concerns of workers, saying people have to protest to have salary increments.

Ms. Musonda said workers have to protest every time, in order for management to increase their salaries.

Efforts to get a comment from the police officers failed as they referred all queries to the command who could not be reached.

Company management also declined to comment on the matter.

20 COMMENTS

  1. What a nonsense story, without any detail or background information. Lusaka Times, don’t bother articles like these without gathering the relevant questions yourself! I call that laziness!

  2. Is the district commissioner seriously angry at the person who incited violence and wants them identified?
    What about the police who killed someone?
    This story is highly irregular, were the workers protesting or rioting? Why did the police resort to firing live ammunition?
    Ma reporters, lazy. Staying at home, reading some reports on social media and making news. Sometimes copying and pasting.

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  3. Police still use live rounds to disperse a group of protesters? Thought they had learnt a lesson from Nsama incident.

  4. Ati we voted for change yet things are worse. You are now suffering and being shot for merely saying that you are suffering. We warned you. Live with the mess you brought about. I will only help pf supporters

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  5. YEAH WE ARE SUFFERING BUT NOT FOR LONG
    SOME ARE FORGETTING THE TERRIBLE MESS THE GOVERNMENT T00K OVER FROM THE POL!T1CAL F00LLS
    AND IT CANNOT BE SORTED OUT IN A FEW MONTHS THE ROT IS DEEPLY EMBEDDED

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  6. I thought Kanganja had taken live bullets with him. Where has Kajoba found these bullets? Politics is about lies to gain advantage over your opponent. The better lies you tell the better the chances of winning the election.

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  7. Shameful act! Looking for redress, only to be killed. People don’t die if you aim your gun in the sky and shoot as a warning to calm the situation! In any case, why bring guns when the people demonstrating only have bare hands and voices? We need to move away from guns and the culture of shooting people at will. Those who shoot people in such circumstances deserve prosecution, because, the whole thing of being a trained policeman is to know where not to point your gun muzzle. Life is sacred – you are there to protect it; not snuff out.

  8. Two things wrong with this picture. Firstly, why are the police still using live bullets to contain a peaceful protest? This is totally unacceptable. This was the order of the day with PF regime. We don’t want to see this happening anymore. Secondly, the government needs to revisit the minimum wage. How can someone be paid K600 per month in this day and age? That’s worse than slave wages. Please set a reasonable minimum wage for workers like these.

  9. #9 Zambia police culture… nothing to do with who’s in government…. tell me which president finished his tenure without police killing a person for a reason other than criminal activity.

  10. PF sponsored protest. These poor conditions of service,including poor salaries were there under PF but they never protested.
    The PF “people” still in police as revealed by Given Lubinda, still carry live ammunition when called to manage protesters. Get rid of them, they are saboteurs! It must be easy to find out who fired that shot as each officer must surely account for the ammunition they signed out for.
    Over all LT please employ qualified reporters aka journalists to give us better reported stories. This story is half baked

  11. Mrs Goma said the death of Mr. Mulenga could have been avoided if there was a good work relationship between management and its workers. NO the death of Mr. Mulenga could have been avoided if Police knew their job!. Why fire live bullets? Where was teargas? Dont you know crowd control techniques?

  12. Why use live armour on unarmed protestors?
    The more things change, the more they remain the same. The late Vesper comes to mind.

  13. Someone tell me why Police are so ready to kill yet they want to emphasise that they are no longer a Police Force but a service. Serving the devil?

  14. @tiki: You’re a big *****! mafi yobe. the person shot is my relative and you are commenting rubbish…we mbwa we!

  15. In Britain the Prime Minister would be questioned about this loss of life. In Zambia this is a normal occurrence that the political autocrats leave to a police spokesman.
    The journalists will be satisfied leave the story and society will go about their search for food like nothing happened. Why aren’t the loudmouths Emmanuel Mwamba, Fred Mmembe, Sean Tembo, Mwila, Chushi, making noise about this? Any death is a cause for concern but they are waiting for their president ‘s distant relative to die. And then with crocodile tears in their eyes they will hold blabbering press conferences

  16. Asking for who started the protest is like trying to run away from your own shadow…the truth is engage your selves in your offices,ask your selves the reason why labour minister and her subordinates should continue eating tax payers money when people are still subjected to slavery in there country….
    Why should Mr kajoba continue enjoying tax payers money when hungry innocent people are being killed by the people who are suppose to protect them(police)
    It’s a shame and incompitent
    …I rest my case

  17. What the f@ck……someone is killed and u asked and concerned about who started the protest and not who killed someone….everyone knows its illegal to use live bullets on protesters

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