FORMER employees of Post Newspapers Limited (in liquidation) have appealed to President Edgar Lungu to ask provisional liquidator Lewis Mosho to pay them their dues.
The ex-workers have lamented that 28 of their colleagues have died without receiving their liquidation packages.
In a statement issued by their committee of representatives, the former employees outlined their plight since the company was closed in 2016.
On June 21, 2016, government, through the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), closed the newspaper over a disputed tax bill.
As a legal battle ensued to reopen the company, five former Post employees namely Andrew Chiwenda, Roy Habaalu, Mwendalubi Mweene, Abel Mboozi and Bonaventure Bwalya filed for liquidation claiming the company had failed to pay them their dues.
Lusaka lawyer Lewis Mosho from Lewis Nathan Advocates was then provisional liquidator.
“We, the former employees of Post Newspapers Limited (in liquidation), through our representative committee, humbly and desperately seek the intervention of President Edgar Lungu in our situation,” the statement reads in part. “Your
Excellency, we appeal to you as leader of our nation, that you consider our plea and compel Mr Lewis Chisanga Mosho to pay us even the little that we have been waiting for. We do not want to see anyone of us die again before they get this little money. We know that the liquidation law has disadvantaged us from getting our full packages, but even the little that we can get under the circumstances can help in a small way.”
And the workers said that so far 28 of their colleagues have died from the time the company was closed five years ago.
The former employees outlined hardships they have gone thorough, including humiliation from various conditions.
“We cannot therefore take any story from him (Mosho), anymore, that there is no money to pay us. Alternatively, may the government source money to pay us before elections. As a committee, we have tried what is humanly possible to engage Mr Mosho since mid-January this year, but he has been avoiding us,” they said. “ Since Mr Mosho went to the media to inform the public about his initial payments, we have also decided to use the media to inform the government and the nation that he has not honoured this exercise to the full. We wish to also state here that since 2016 when the company was closed, 28 of our colleagues have died without getting even a ngwee from the money they worked for.”
The former employees however explained that even the money being expected was not equivalent to what one would get under normal retirement.
They explained how Mosho sold all valuable assets without saving any money for the former employees.
“In fact, most of the assets were offered to known PF sympathisers with whom Mr Mosho is probably having difficulties in demanding payments,” said the former employees. “The last five years we have experienced suffering that has taken us to unimaginable levels. It has been a humiliating and depressing moment for us as we have seen our children drop out of school, our colleagues die due to depression, and all sorts of calamities befalling us. In the process, we have also seen widows and orphans among us, a situation that never existed when The Post was operating.”