We’ve run out of patience -retrenchees

OVER 9, 000 former non-civil servants who were retrenched from various Governmnet departments from 1997 to 1999 have accused the Ministries of Finance and Justice of failing to expedite the process of releasing their dues and have appealed to President Edgar Lungu to intervene before they take the law in their own hands.

Addressing scores of retrenchees who had initially gathered at the Classified Employees Association of Zambia (CEAZ) office in Lusaka in preparation for a demonstration to the two ministries in Lusaka yesterday, general secretary Edith Mubanga said the association was fed up of promises from government without success.

Ms. Mubanga warned that it was just a matter of time before her membership took the law into their own hands if that was what was needed for them to be heard.

She said she did not understand why the two ministries had failed to expedite the process of disbursing the funds despite retirees’ records having been verified a long time ago adding that attempts to find a solution had hit a snag.

“Just last week, we demonstrated at the Ministry of Justice after persistent engagements but we were told there was nothing the ministry could do because it had not yet received funding from Ministry of Finance. When we went to Ministry of Finance, we were told they cannot deal with us because we are not their client but that of the Ministry of Justice. We don’t understand all this because the verification process was done a long time ago. We are sick and tired of this reluctance. “We wanted to demonstrate again today but we have been advised not to because the security atmosphere is not right. Honestly speaking, how do they expect people who retired as far back as 1997 to survive without their benefits? We have over 9, 000 members across the country but how do they expect them to survive? Some of them died and their families are still fighting over issues that should have been concluded a long time. Do they want us all to die?” Ms. Mubanga asked.

And one of the retirees Emily Phiri said the wait had been long and tough. Their very survival was becoming unbearable and appealed to President Edgar Lungu to intervene in the matter before the situation got out of hand.

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