By JOHN SAKALA
National Democratic Congress (NDC) President Chishimba Kambwili has asked Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to pay the retiring employees their Saturnia Regina Pension Fund in full.
Mr Kambwili was reacting to updates in KCM where KCM employees who are retiring would be paid half of the Saturnia Regna and the other half will be paid as monthly salaries.
Featuring on Chingola’s Iwave Radio, Mr Kambwili said Saturnia Regina is the money which most miners use to do something constructive after leaving work because it is not exposed to deductions.
He said choosing to pay them in meagre monthly installments would be crooked, inhuman and unconstitutional.
Employees had tipped Mr Kambwili that Saturnia Regina which is more like a KCM pension scheme wants to be paying retiring employees in halves.
The employees told Mr Kambwili that Mukuba Pension Scheme and National Provident Fund collapsed because they had become crooks like Saturnia Regina.
Some KCM employees had sued KCM for retiring them at 55 instead of 65 years but lost in the High Court.
And Mr Kambwili said people of Chingola had been failed by the PF Government lead by President Edgar Lungu.
Mr Kambwili said when President Lungu was in Chingola he told the miners who were complaining to him to besiege their unions and the Mines Minister.
He said the action was as good as snubbing the miners.
“As am talking right now four contractors at Nchanga underground will have their contracts terminated. This is now total killing of the Nchanga underground mine,” he said.
But KCM General Manager Eugene Chungu refuted claims by Mr Kambwili that Nchanga underground mine will be closed.
Mr Chungu said Nchanga underground mine had been under care and maintenance for a long time.
He said Nchanga underground mine would continue to be under care and maintenance until KCM restocks enough acid to treat the material mined from underground.
“Yes the contracts for Lukoria with 150 workers, Elioyoni with 150 and Mpelembe with 113 have expired and we have not yet renewed them. But we have retained 43 workers from Mpelembe for critical jobs to be working hand in hand with KCM staff.
“Once we have restocked enough acid we will resume operation at Nchanga underground and we will decide either to renew the same contractors or otherwise,” he said.