By ROGERS KALERO
WORKERS from Mopani Copper Mines, who acquired loans from Stanbic Bank, have threatened to close their accounts, accusing the financial institution of unfairly treating their deductions.
The miners, who gathered at Katilungu House in Kitwe, yesterday gave Stanbic Bank 14 days in which to explain why their loan deductions had prolonged when the agreement stated that the loans would be recoverd in five years, in some cases.
Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) President, Joseph Chewe, said Stanbic and Mopani agreed that the loans would be recovered through the payroll within a specific period, but that deductions had prolonged.
When asked if the loans were fixed rate or loans that are linked to the Monetary Policy Rate whose repayment period fluctuates, Mr Chewe could not give a categorical answer.
Mr Chewe said the union and its members were disappointed that loans which were expected to last for five years had lasted for eight years and the bank was failing to give a reasonable and satisfactory explanation on the issue
Mr Chewe was speaking yesterday in Kitwe when he addressed miners from Mopani who went to complain about the prolonged loans at Stanbic Bank and to remind Government to pay them the terminal benefits which they worked for under Glencore International Plc
He explained that about 2, 500 miners had gotten loans from Stanbic Bank and the same loans had dragged for more than eight years.
“We have had enough from Stanbic Bank and we think it is time we took action. This issue of prolonged loans has led to broken marriages and people are failing to take their children to school.
“This is why we have decided that we should give a 14-day ultimatum to Stanbic Bank to resolve this matter or else, we will tell our members to close their accounts with Stanbic Bank. We have about 2, 500 members who have loans with Stanbic Bank,” Mr Chewe said.