Fight ensues again over retirees dues

A TUG-OF-WAR has again ensued among legal firms over the retirees they represent after Government released millions of Kwacha as long service bonus for those who went on voluntary separation in 1997 and 1998.

About 8000 former retirees have now formerly written to the Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima asking her not to entertain either Okware & Company and Lukona Chambers to receive their dues.

The retirees contend that at no time where they being represented by the two firms but have been under Malipenga and Company, the legal firm representing the Voluntary Separatees Association of Zambia (VSAZ).

They charged that they had already lost salary entitlements which were deposited in the account of unknown legal firm which allegedly squandered by the firms without remitting it to the retirees.

In a letter to the Chief Justice and the Attorney General dated 8th October, 2015, the 8000 retirees said they had information that lawyers from Okware & Associates and Lukona Chambers were positioning themselves to claim that they represented them.

“Your Lordship, government has released long service bonus and is intending to pay this money through the court and we are reliably informed that the same lawyers (Okware & Associates) and the named group are claiming to be representing us.

“Be alert and warn your good officers not to be deceived and pay our monies to the two said law firms as they do not represent us in any way. We, the 8000 retirees belong to Malipenga & Company and our long service bonus monies must be sent the same law firm,” read the letter in part.

They said that there was already an issue under police investigations in which Okware & Associates had failed to pay them their loss of salary entitlements which it allegedly obtained by false pretence.

“Governmnet advised us that our loss of salary entitlements were remitted through Okware & Associates and that we should pursue them to recover our unpaid monies which they falsely obtained and we have reported the matter to the police and a docket has been and investigations are going on.

“Our Lordship, we have lost colossal amounts of money already and entertaining Okware & Company and our former lawyers Lukona Chambers shall be unbearable injustice to us the retrenchees,” they said.