Over Non-payment of Retirees Benefit: Bo City Council Bank Account Frozen
The Chief Administrator of the Bo City Council, Veronica Fortune has disclosed that there is a high court order given to the banks to freeze all bank accounts of the Bo City Council in respect of the non-payment of retirees and redundant benefits.
Speaking at the monthly council meeting held at the Bo City Council Chamber over the weekend. Madam Fortune said that all modalities have been put in place for the court hearing on Friday, 29th July 2022, adding that the council was not notified about the court order given to the banks.
According to her, one of the banks that received the order notified the council and they sought the opinion of the legal retainer of the council and advice on what they should do, which is to prepare a motion paper to the filed in court.
“In the motion, our legal retainer indicated that the council is not refusing to pay and that we are committed and will to pay all retirees. We want to have a payment plan but the amount that the retirees and redundant staff are claiming to be paid to them is not in our file,” Madam Fortune claims.
She said she summoned the Coordinator of the Municipal Labour worker Union to understand the issues that because the former junior staff did not proceed on annual leave and at the end of the service or redundancy, those monies were workout, which has made them make such claim of money that the council owed them.
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Madam Fortune went on to say that they also want the head of the Labour Union to know that the Chief Administrator at that time who is now dead, called a meeting where the cross section of the retirees and redundant staff were present and they were informed that the amount they are claiming is high and Bo City Council cannot afford to pay that money.
She said that it was during that meeting the former staff unanimously agreed that they forget about their leave allowances so that their benefits due them will be paid, adding that “this is what we have in our records.”
The Chief Administrator expresses the hope that there will be a positive outcome of the court proceedings.
The Deputy Mayor of the Bo City Council said that to justify that there was an understanding for the payment of benefits, and some of the retires have taken at l3east some amount of money and there is a document to substantiate the claims of agreement.
One of the Retiree, Councilor Bainda who is now one of the councilors vowed to produce documents to support the claims of the council, which the retirees and redundant staff have described as a betrayal.
However, some of the councilors said that the local government minister should be informed that the court order to freeze the accounts of the council, which the current Chief Administrator, said she has done.
It could be recalled that the retirees and redundant staff staged several protests demanding the payment of their benefits and leave allowances before taking legal action against the Bo City Council.