FORMER Zambian Airways employees have called on the Government to assist them trace the huge amounts of money obtained in loans but which money was never remitted to the company as they have not been paid their benefits.
A ground operations officer, Samuel Mwachingwa, complained that the company had failed to pay their terminal benefits, “although we know that there was a lot of money borrowed but which money was never pumped into the company otherwise it would not have shut down,” he said. He said that many employees and creditors had tried to petition the liquidator, who referred them back to the owners of the liquidated company.
“The owners have obviously moved on in life while many of us have suffered serious deprivation because we worked hard to make the airline survive and yet the outcome has proved disappointing in spite of the huge amounts of money that were pumped into the company.” He said.
At the last count, the company owed Finance Bank US$4.2million, National Airports Corporation US$2.3 million, Development Bank of Zambia more than K14 billion and similar amounts to Investrust Bank and other service providers.
“We would like to appeal to the Government to trace where this money has gone to so that we are paid our dues,” he said.
Meanwhile the Development Bank of Zambia K14 billion Zambian Airways loan case comes before the Lusaka High Court for retrial today.
The bank has demanded repayment of the money together with interest.
The Lusaka High Court is today expected to preside over the retrial of the matter where the Post Newspaper and JCN Holdings have been ordered to pay K14 billion debt to DBZ.
The matter will be heard before Judge Justin Chashi.
The Supreme Court had on December 17 sent back the matter to the High Court for retrial.
Supreme Court Judge Munyinda Wanki passed the verdict for the matter to go to re-trial.
This was after Post Newspapers, JCN Holdings and suspended Director of Public Prosecution Mutembo Nchito in his capacity as former Zambian Airways director, appealed to the Supreme Court against the Lusaka High Court’s judgment that ordered them to pay back the debt to DBZ.
The matter was initially handled by Supreme Court Judge Albert Wood when he served as Lusaka High Court judge.
It was later allocated to Judge Nigel Mutuna who found that they had obtained the loan by fraudulent misrepresentation.