Scores of protesting security guards at Armcor Security Company in Lusaka yesterday clashed with police, who had fired teargas to maintain order at the company premises.
An eye-witness said the guards had gathered at the company premises to hear from their management on the status of their alleged unpaid three months salaries but they allegedly became unruly, prompting management to call in police.
Witnesses said the police fired teargas and in retaliation, the security guards threw stones at the law-enforcers.
The guards were, however, no match for the better equipped police, who quickly restored order.
Lusaka Province police commissioner Lemmy Kajoba confirmed that there were skirmishes triggered by financial demands by the workers.
“The police is aware of the problems at Armcor and the last three months, the police has had to come in to control the [guards’] unruly behaviour of breaking company property and blocking roads,” Mr Kajoba said in an interview.
Some guards are said to have withdrawn their labour resulting in others working longer hours to continue providing the service.
Some guards, who requested not to be named, said they have not been paid their salaries for three months.
“It is not healthy to work both in the day and night without a break. As I speak to you, I have not seen my wife for two days because there is no-one to relieve me,” said one guard.
“We now get paid in batches and we go for months without pay. But one cannot survive in Lusaka without money. Landlords are on our necks,” he said with a sense of despair.
Zambia Union of Security and Allied Workers official Vincent Makanda said the union is aware of the problem but could not immediately provide further details.
Zambia Daily Mail