GOVERNMENT has terminated the services of Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) managing director George Ndongwe, as the organization battles financial difficulties.
The Zambia Water and Sanitation Engineering and Allied Workers Union (ZAWSEAWU) LWSC branch chairperson, Moses Mwale, who confirmed the sacking, said that the move to relieve Mr Ndongwe of his duties had been taken in the best interest of all stakeholders.
“We respect Government’s move and wish Mr. Ndongwe all the best in his future endeavors. His departure comes at a time when the company is facing serious liquidity problems and is at its lowest ebb in terms of performance,” Mr Mwale said. He said that members of staff had raised numerous concerns about the affairs of the company, including the failed pre-payment metering project, and the buying of expensive personal-to-holder vehicles for management. “The workers’ major concern has been that the company does not hesitate to buy expensive personal-to-holder vehicles at the expense of network expansion works and meeting critical operational costs such as adequate materials and tools for the workers,” said Mr. Mwale.
He said workers supported the use of pre-payment meters, but claimed that the gadgets procured by the company were of an inferior quality, as most of them failed to terminate water supply when the units were exhausted.
The decision to fire Mr. Ndongwe was taken by permanent secretary of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Amos Malupenga, who is also the interim board chairperson of LWSC.
Workers had complained of top-heavy management but did not provide adequate checks and balances because there were more employee grade levels in management than in unionized scales.
“Currently the company has six grades in management and only four in unionized ranks,” he said.