MORE than 80 former University of Zambia employees have sued the UNZA council demanding for payment of their terminal benefits and refund of the 10 percent deductions from their terminal benefits.
The 85 former employees want another order of an injunction restraining the council from evicting those still occupying institutional houses pending the determination of the matter.
The group has also asked the Lusaka High Court to order the UNZA council to compensate one of the members Iness Zeko K16, 350 for her property which was damaged during an abrupt eviction.
Ms Zeko also wants to be compensated K2, 245.00 she spent to develop the house at Ivesor and K5, 000.00 which went missing during the eviction.
The 85 were retired sometime between 2007 and 2009 by council of UNZA but although the conditions of service provided for their retirement benefits to be paid within three months of retirement they were only paid in mid-year, 2014.
The council has not paid them their claims for interest and refund for wrongly deducted taxes from their retirement benefits when all along was that it did not deduct taxes from employees’ retirement benefits.
Ms Zeko who filed the writ of summons on behalf of the group said the former employees felt discriminated against and unfairly treated by the council’s decision to deduct taxes from their benefits when all along such taxes were being taken care of by the council.
She further stated that despite the delay in paying their retirement benefits, the council had not paid interest and it was now evicting former employees staying in institutional houses before paying them interest and refunds of the deducted taxes.
Ms Zeko said that efforts to resolve issues with the council have proved futile as it has not even responded to any of the letters written to it by their lawyers.
She argued that the standard practice was to allow retired employees to remain in the institutional houses until all the dues are settled but the council now wanted to deprive them of the benefit before settling their dues in full.
Ms Zeko further said that after failing to pay the benefits in good time, the council could not now be in a hurry to evict them in its houses as no one could build a house within three months of being paid retirement benefits minus interest.
Ms Zeko said that as a result f the council’s failure to pay them benefits within three years of retirement they have suffered damage and loss.
TIMES OF ZAMBIA