Kitwe ~ Tue, 29 Sept 2020
By ZR Reporter
The former miners complained about the criteria Mopani is using to select those eligible for the ex-gracia payment.
The ex-miners marched to Mopani offices around 09:00 hours where they demanded to be addressed by management over the matter.
But police in riot gear quickly came to disperse them.
However, they later retaliated by throwing stones and other objects at the officers.
However, the police managed to quell the riots but the ex-miners then marched to Katilungu house to meet Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) officials.
Speaking on behalf of the other ex-miners, Jairos Nyirenda said some of the miners that have been paid are not appearing on the list.
Mr Nyirenda has since appealed to Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Richard Musukwa to intervene in the matter.
And Copperbelt Commissioner of Police Charity Katanga confirmed that the ex-miners protested but that there were no arrests made.
Mrs Katanga said the miners were complaining about the criteria which the mine was using to pay the ex-miners.
“Others complained that their names were omitted, others were appearing on the list but were not paid while others complained of being not eligible to get the payment,” she said.
Mrs Katanga, however, said management at the mine has asked the companies and the workers to do a verification exercise.
Early this year, the mine had placed its mines in Kitwe and Mufulira on care and maintenance and sent about 11,000 direct and indirect employees on forced leave.
However, the mine went further to terminate contracts for some companies, which resulted in over 7,000 indirect employees losing their jobs.
After holding talks with Government, the mine decided to resume operations but gave a 90-day notice that it would again suspend operations.
But some companies refused to go back on site, saying it would be very expensive for them to mobilise the equipment.
The mine then decided to pay the indirect employees working for the contractors K11, 000 ex-gracia in addition to their separation packages.
Miners eligible to be paid ex-gracia are those that were working at the mine under a contractor before April, 8, this year.