Zambia: Sos Vilage Ordered to Pay Five Dismissed Workers

THE Ministry of Labour has directed that the five workers recently dismissed from SOS Children Village without pay must be given their benefits.

The decision by the Government is a big blow to the organisation which has witnessed wrangling between senior management team and new national director Bwalya Melu.

The institution dismissed three managers and two other officers without pay following differences with Mr Melu who slapped charges on them before the board sacked them.

The sacked employees, however, sought intervention of the labour commissioner after accusing management and the board of maliciously dismissing them.

Their petition was successful after the Ministry of Labour overturned the decision and directed SOS board of trustees to ensure that all the ex-workers were given their packages.

This was during a meeting last week between the board of trustees of SOS and the dismissed employees which was chaired by assistant labour commissioner Chinyanta Chikula, who is in charge of industrial relations.

Both sources at the Ministry of Labour and the affected employees confirmed to the Sunday Times in separate interviews during the week.

The dismissed employees include SOS deputy national director, Mwamba Mutale, human resource manager, Victor Lolozi and acting financial controller Clarence Mwami and Mwila Chibanda and Mary Kapansa Luleta.

Mr Mutale, Mr Mwami and Mr Lolozi will negotiate for separation packages they initially asked for while Ms Luleta and Ms Chibanda will have three months notice in terms of pay before negotiating for their packages.

The sources said the cases against the employees could not stand because it was clear that the board and management of SOS already had intentions of firing the workers before they were even charged.

The organisation has witnessed persistent problems including dismissals of employees since the appointment of Mr Melu as national director in March last year.

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