Lawyers scramble for benefits


A scramble for retirees’ K8 million has ensued among legal firms, some of which are said to have presented distorted lists of former civil servants  in order to get the lion’s share following revelations that the Ministry of Justice has finally disbursed the money through the courts.

Information reaching the Daily Nation indicates that the lists of retirees submitted by the three legal firms so far showed that there was a surplus of about 400 retirees more than the 3206 that are entitled to the package.

As at Friday, a total of 3688 names had been submitted by Malipenga and Company, P&P Advocates, and Okware and Associates while the number is expected to swell even further when two more legal firms produce their own lists to the court.

When contacted for a comment, Voluntary Separatees Association of Zambia (VSAZ) General Secretary Simemeza Syachoke said his association was aware of the inflated lists and charged that some greedy legal firms were either adding the names of retirees whom they never represented, duplicating, or faking names.

Mr. Syachoke said it was disheartening that some legal firms could go to the extent of submitting wrong names to take advantage of the situation at the expense of the suffering retirees.

“We now foresee a situation where the issue which was supposed to come to an end, will again drag on due to selfishness of some of these legal firms.

“It is very embarrassing that some legal firms have sunk so low as to submit fake names or duplicated names when each firm has its own fixed number of people it is representing. We shall just ask government to pay us as individuals because this delay is too much. We can’t continue to be abused like this,” he complained.

Mr. Syachoke said since there was too much cheating by some legal firms on the number of people they represent, the retirees would still have to wait a little longer before receiving their dues because the court will be compelled to go through a verification process with the Ministry of Justice.

He said it was sad that the retirees have continued to suffer long after working for the money due to selfish individuals who wanted to have the lion’s share of benefits over something they never laboured for and has called for sanity among the lawyers involved in the issue to quicken up the payment process as retirees could not wait any longer for their money.

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