Government through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has placed over 100 voluntary retirees on a 6-months relief programme as they wait to be paid their retirement packages.
DMMU National Coordinator Chanda Kabwe says government will not allow retirees to starve as they wait for their benefits because they contributed immensely to the country in various sectors.
Addressing a group of retirees who walked with him from the Ministry of Finance to DMMU, Mr. Kabwe pledged to deliver their petition to the Vice President in whose office he serves.
The National Coordinator said his office can only help retirees with basic needs hence the need to put them on a relief package for them to have food as they wait to be paid their dues by government.
He said the relief package is not part of their retirement package but mere help to ensure that they are food secure while they wait for their money.
He encouraged them to be calm as government processes the dues they worked for.
And Bob Mubiana who spoke on behalf of the retirees commended the DMMU National Coordinator for giving retirees a listening ear and for the food relief packages.
Mr. Mubiana said most retirees are struggling to meet their basic needs as they have not been paid their terminal benefits.
He said the retirees are eager to receive their benefits from government as it has taken long from the time they retired from the civil service.
He said the retirees present were separated from the civil service in the years between 1999 to date and that all of them have not been paid after the court judgment which was in their favour.
The DMMU National Coordinator was intercepted by the retirees at the Ministry of Finance where they had gone to meet the Minister regarding their terminal benefits.
The group matched with Mr. Kabwe from the Ministry of Finance to DMMU where they asked the National Coordinator to address them and assist them to deliver the message to the Vice President so that they can be paid their benefits.
At the time the National Coordinator addressed the retirees, their leaders were reported to be locked up in a meeting at the Ministry of Finance where their matter is being handled.
This is according to a press statement issued to ZANIS by DMMU Senior Communications Officer Mathews Musukwa in Lusaka today.