Workers who were previously dismissed with full compensation from the telecommunications firm Zamtel are hoping to get their jobs back now that the state has expropriated the company from its new private owners, LAP GreenN.
Chairperson of the former workers Henry Nsama has commended President Michael Sata’s statements on the reinstatement of Zamtel employees, complaining over the treatment of former employees. “We the former Zamtel employees have received the government statement with renewed hope. We are glad that Government understands our problem and the manner in which we were laid off by LAP Green,” Nsama said.
When Zamtel was privatized by the previous government, it had 2,500 employees and just 500,000 subscribers, while TelCell, the market leader, had 4,000,000 subscribers and just 500 employees. LAP Green, which is owned by the Libyan Investment Authority, is currently suing the Sata government for what they allege was an illegal re-nationalization of their property. Since LAP Green took over the company, the subscriber base has grown seven fold and revenues were boosted by 50%.
Out of the $257 million that LAP Green paid for Zamtel, approximately $117 million went toward the workers compensation packages and pensions.