Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mpelembe Drilling workers’ wives protest over salaries

Mpelembe Drilling workers’ wives protest over salaries
By Zumani Katasefa
Sat 24 Oct. 2009, 04:00 CAT

LUANSHYA police on Wednesday dispersed angry wives of Mpelembe Drilling workers who protested against non-payment of their husbands' salaries for seven months.

The irate women from Mufulira travelled to Luanshya to protest at their spouses' company headquarters, where they also threatened to camp.

However, the women's protest was thwarted by police officers who were rushed to the company.

Luanshya district commissioner George Kapu confirmed the development.
"Yes, they came here, they wanted to be addressed by me, but I was not there, I was in the field," said Kapu.

And Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) Luanshya branch chairman Geoffrey Lishika said it was sad that the company would let workers go for seven months without salaries.

Lishika also complained that deputy labour minister Simon Kachimba had promised to follow up the K6 billion debt that Roan Antelope Mining Corporation of Zambia (RAMCOZ) owed to the company.

Lishika said some of the women who travelled to Luanshya were widows who had no other means of earning a living as they just depended on their husbands' benefits.
The over 40 women whose husbands work for Mpelembe Drilling Company vowed to continue protesting until their husbands were paid their money.

The women complained that their husbands had gone without salaries for seven months.
One of the women who declined to be named said the situation was getting out of hand.
"Our government should intervene in this matter, there is no way our husbands can go for seven months without salaries," she complained.

And one of the Mpelembe Drilling workers, Febian Chisenga, said the women were annoyed with the non-payment of salaries for seven months.

"They were annoyed with our non-payment of salaries for seven months. That is why they decided to book a min- bus and travel to Luanshya to stage a protest. That is where the company headquarters are," he said.

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