By ZR Reporter
Over 700 Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) ex-miners have demanded their pension benefits from Hakainde Hichilema’s Saturnia Pensions Trust Fund.
KCM ex-miners Chairman Ilunga Kasompe said during a briefing in Lusaka this morning that Saturnia Pensions Trust Fund was abusing people’s rights and induced so much suffering on the miners who worked so hard to create wealth for the country.
Mr Kasompe demanded that companies owned by the opposition UPND leader release the title deeds for all properties belonging to KCM pension scheme and that all pensions for serving miners be transferred from Saturnia to NAPSA with immediate effect.
He explained that the pension scheme, which was originally being run by Mukuba Pension Fund, was, however, moved to Saturnia with new developments now indicating that the scheme is being run by Benefits Consulting Services Limited Trustees, a company which happens to be Mr Hichilema’s.
He added that the company decided to only give retired miners 50 per cent of their pension contributions and then forced miners to later buy annuities from Hichilema’s company, Sanlam, a move he described as “a criminal form of insider trading”.
Mr Kasompe stated that the problem they are in is the offshoot of the failures of the mismanaged privatization process and said the miners have since joined other stakeholders who have launched a campaign to look into the matter which unscrupulous businessmen took advantage of.
“We demand an immediate account of the offshore investments that were made for KCM pensions scheme from 2000 up to 2018 as well as an immediate investigation into the conduct of the KCM pensions scheme board of trustees, the trade union and the KCM management,” he said.
Mr Kasompe implored Mr Hichilema to fix the pension issues before talking about state matters.
He said there was enough evidence that Mr Hichilema’s Saturnia Pensions Trust Fund abused the rights of miners and was a scandal schemed and planned by the businessmen, politicians and foreign multinational companies to trap and embarrass the PF government.
“We have information to confirm that money was moved out of the KCM pension scheme to Sanlam properties. No Zambian will ever benefit from such investments and that is why we cannot accept any money to go to Sanlam.Time has come to correct the situation as this impunity should not be tolerated,” Mr Kasompe said.
He wondered why Saturnia should be allowed to change the rules as it wishes as if there is no government in the country.
Mr Kasompe further accused Saturnia of destroying a lot of lives, and that there’s evidence in the courts of law as records show that fellow pensioners who had been struggling in court for 20 years could not get their money because of Saturnia.