Defiant Kapiri businessman ignores govt summons
Kapiri Mposhi, 12 June, 2013, ZANIS – Management at Kapdi group of companies in Kapiri Mposhi district have for the seventh time snubbed summons by government to discuss the plight of its former workers.
Kapdi group of companies management and proprietor Liaqat Kapdi has once more disregarded the invitation from government to discuss the plight of over 55 workers laid-off from the various companies operating in Kapiri Mposhi without paying them terminal benefits.
This has led to a series of protests against the management and owner by the former workers demanding to be paid their benefits.
The government through the department of Labour and Arbitration based at the Council has for some time now been arranging meetings with the Mr Kapdi to discuss the plight of the fired workers.
But Mr. Kapdi has been disregarding summons by government through the department of Labour and Arbitration which is tasked to look at labour issues and dispute resolutions between employees and employers in the district.
According to a letter written by Kapiri Mposhi Council Secretary, Mpande Hamwende who in this case acts as Magistrate Class II of the Subordinate Court, Mr. Kapdi was yesterday summoned to appear at the council chambers around 14:30 hours but did not turn-up much to the disappointment of the irate workers who waited to hear their fate.
In April this year, Mr. Kapdi allegedly fled his office when he was informed of Labour Deputy Minister, Ronald Chitotela’s scheduled visit to inspect the labour laws compliance at his companies and settling of some outstanding issues relating to payment of terminal benefits to his former workers.
Meanwhile, the former workers have appealed to government to charge Mr. Kapdi for disregarding its orders.
Former workers’ spokesperson, Laurent Mutale said Mr. Kapdi was adulterating the government’s efforts to amicably resolve the problems of unpaid benefits to the affected workers.
“This man tell us who ever we report to is in his pockets that’s why he continues firing us without paying us any money and he is now arbitrary disregarding government’s calls to pay us and efforts to resolve labour issues at his companies.. we appeal that he be disciplined,” Mr. Mutale said.
The Kapdi group of companies comprises haulage, filling stations, bakeries, wholesales, a chain of supermarkets, hardware shops and water bottling companies.
The affected workers include drivers, stores officers, fuel attendants, shop keepers and mechanics among others.
Mr. Kapdi did not answer his mobile phone when contacted by ZANIS.