Kitwe council suspends union leaders

TWO Zambia United Local Authority Workers Union (ZULAWU) Kitwe branch leaders Steven Kamponge and Joshua Phiri have been suspended by the Kitwe City Council (KCC) management and put on half salary for allegedly inciting workers to go on an illegal strike.

On Monday, KCC workers went on a strike over the non-payment of two months salaries for those in group 4 and those getting salaries directly from the government.

Mr Phiri, a departmental representative  and Mr Kamponge, branch vice Secretary were handed their letters of suspension yesterday.

Mr Kamponge’s letter of suspension one dated June 3, 2013 reads in part ” It ought to be made clear to you that inciting of workers to proceed on an illegal strike or work stoppage is a serious offense as stipulated in the conditions of service for division IV (1996), 51.2 (VII) under which you serve.

“This attracts serious consequences. In this regard, am left with no option but to suspend you with immediate effect.

You are further requested to exculpate yourself within seven (7) days of receipt of this letter a to why disciplinary action should not be meted against you.

“By copy of this letter, the Director of Finance is accordingly advised to place you on half  salary, read the letter which was signed by Deputy Director of Engineering a Mr Akashambatwa.

The letter was copied to Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Local Government, Provincial Local government officer, Copperbelt, Kitwe Town Clerk, Director of Human Resources and Administration at KCC, Director of Finance at KCC and ZULAWU branch secretary.

But some directors at the council were reportedly not happy with the way Town Clerk Bornwell Luanga was running the local authority and forcing them to suspend union officials who were voicing out the concerns on delayed salaries.