By SANFROSSA MANYINDA
FORMER Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) employees have petitioned President Edgar Lungu to compel Saturnia Regna Pension Trust Fund to pay them their 100 percent pension contributions.
They also want him to investigate how offshore accounts had disappeared and why properties belonging to the KCM Pension Fund were now under Saturnia, which was deriving benefits instead of pensioners.
The more than 700 former employees of 2019 gathered at Chililabombwe District Commissioner Roy Ngosa’s office before handing over the petition yesterday.
The employees demanded that President Lungu should immediately review the law and enable them receive their 100 percent pension contribution through Saturnia Regna Pension Trust Fund.
Group representative, Godwin Muyambo, said the miners who worked for KCM at the time Anglo American bought Nampundwe, Nchanga, Nkana and Konkola mines were forced to join Saturnia Regna Pension Trust Fund.
He said joining Saturnia Fund was one of the conditions demanded by Anglo American for the privatisation transaction.
Mr Muyambo said that it had however been difficult to get their pension funds they saved with the company.
He said that from the time they joined the company in 2000, all miners who had retired ftom KCM had been paid 100 percent of their pensions contribution with interest.
However, the pension fund administrators Benefits Consulting Services Limited told the more than 700 who were retired last year that they would only get 50 percent of the contribution.
“We are more than 700 ex miners who worked for KCM for a very long period and have been deprived a living in our own land through a pension scandal, we have come here to petition President Lungu to help us get our funds,” he said.
Mr Muyambo said that the pension administrators assured them that the 50 percent balance for each retired miner would be transfered to Sanlam Insurance Zambia Limited.
This was meant to buy annuities and that the money would be paid in monthly installments over a period of five to ten years without interest, a move the miners rejected.
“We have refused to accept this because the law they are using is a scapegoat that has been there since 2000 and they have all this while been paying 100 percent but we have refused to transfer our money to Sanlam Insurance Limited because there is no law which compels pensioners to buy annuities after retirement,” he said.
He said that management at KCM pension scheme had become a convoluted affair with four companies being involved in the exploitation of the miners.
He said that all the four entities were allegedly owned by three individuals namely Mr Hakainde Sammy Hichilema, Mr Valentine Chitalu and Mr Munakupya Hantuba.
Mr Muyambo accused the trio of planning to move their pension contributions to be used as their capital contribution in Sanlam and other companies where they had interest.
Other demands were that President Lungu should investigate the Pension and Insurance Authority to establish why they had not followed the law which stipulated that the fund manager and fund administrators should not be related parties.