By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Some Konkola Copper Mines ex-miners today held a peaceful protest to demand for their 50% KCM pension money to be paid in full.
The ex-miners said that they do not understand why KCM has decided to implement a law that only affects ex-miners that retired in 2019 and 2020.
Speaking in an interview with The Independent Observer, Elias Nkandu one of the ex-miners said that it is senseless to get paid as low as K1, 000 while those in employment are getting paid huge sums of money.
Mr Nkandu said that in the current economy, K1, 000 as monthly payment is useless as it cannot sustain any family and pay tuition fees for their kids.
Another Ex-miner, Ilunga Kasompe said the law is segregating as it only affects ex-miners from 2019 and 2020.
He charged that the law is illegal and should not be taken seriously because it implies daylight robbery on their part.
Mr Kasompe said that the poor should not be exploited in such a manner, adding that this behavior should not be condoned by the Government.
“This is day light robbery, why should a law be implemented on certain ex miners while some are getting paid, this is a bush law which is affecting many lives, when we brought this issue in the PF government they said that HH was the one in charge of the pension schemes companies, so now we are happy that President Hichilema is in power because he was the one who was allegedly in charge of the schemes,” he said.
And a daughter of the affected Ex miners, Eunice Namuchimba appealed to Government to urgently address the issue of their parents getting paid K1, 000 per month.
Ms Namuchimba said that she has been chased from her college due to lack of tuition fees, same applies to other children both in primary and secondary schools.
She said that it is unfortunate that the 50% owed is being paid in bits when they are families that depend solemnly on that money.
Speaking at the same protest, District Commissioner Raphael Chimupi called for calm and patience as the line offices are working on addressing the issue.
Mr Chimupi said that the law states that once an ex miner gets the first part of the 100% pension scheme; the remaining 50% will be paid in installments of K1, 000 to infinite.
And Chingola Mayor Johnson Kang’ombe encouraged the ex-miners to use the right channels to air out their grievances.
Mr Kang’ombe told the ex-miners to elect representatives to follow up on the issue after submitting letters to the office of the DC, Offices of the Members of Parliament and His office so that the right procedures are followed.
He further called for patience and to never loose hope in the Government as it is equal to the task to address pending issues, the ex-miners case inclusive.