SIMON MUNTEMBA writes
GOVERNMENT has expressed disappointment with the Programme Against Discrimination in Communities (PADIC) in Shang’ombo for failing to pay over 400 workers it engaged on its Shang’ombo sugar plantation project.
This is a matter in which over 400 employees of PADIC Shang’ombo sugar plantation have not been paid their dues for more than a year.
In an interview with the Lusaka Sun yesterday, Shang’ombo district commissioner (DC) Captain Lawrence Nyambe said it was saddening that the employees had not been paid their dues for over 12 months.
Capt Nyambe said it was unfair for PADIC to continue making unfulfilled promises to the people who had worked for them.
He said his office had been engaging the organization over the matter for a long time, but all had been in vain.
He, however, expressed optimism that the project would get back to life and workers would be paid after new management had been appointed.
“Although this is a private project, as government working with the Litunga Royal Establishment, we played the role of allocating them 30,000 hectares of land. We facilitated that land but we are disappointed that nothing much has been done.
“People were employed but unfortunately, they have not been paid to date. Several times, we have engaged them but they are just promising. Our appeal to the new management is to pay what they are owing to the people they recruited,” Capt. Nyambe said.
Capt. Nyambe appealed to the new management to put their house in order and quickly pay their workers.
Meanwhile, one of the workers, Dominic Shomena said workers had hoped that the sugar project would benefit people of Shangombo and Western Province at large.
“But this is disappointing that the so called investors can fail to pay us. We are over 400 workers that were employed by PADIC but we have not been paid to date,” Mr Shomena lamented.
Mr Shomena further disclosed that equipment that was on site had been moved to unknown destination and that workers were now thinking that the investors would ran away with their money.
“We appeal to government to come to our aid because we have lost hope and we are not sure if these people will pay us. They keep on making fake promises,” he said
And when contacted for a comment PADIC director Sitali Sitali said he was aware of the situation.
“They should wait, our public relations officer will soon announce the date to pay them,” he assured.