MELODY MUPETA, Kitwe
FOUR local authorities on the Copperbelt have been directed to pay K2.7 million they owe Copperbelt Solid Waste Management Company (COPWASTE) in maintenance fees for their dumpsites.
Copperbelt permanent secretary Elias Kamanga gave the directive to Mufulira, Chingola, Kitwe and Chililabombwe councils.
COPWASTE workers on Monday staged a protest by blocking the main entrance and demanding the removal of management for allegedly failing to pay workers’ salaries for more than five months.
Mr Kamanga said the affected local authorities should honour their obligations to COPWASTE so that workers at the institution can be paid.
“I am urging the four local authorities to pay the amount it owes the company so that it can pay its workers,” he said.
He said Kitwe City Council owes the company about K1.2 million, while the other local authorities owe about K500,000 each in maintenance fees for their dumpsites.
Mr Kamanga said the local authorities should pay the company to enable management pay the workers and repair equipment.
He said the amount owed has affected the operations of the firm, which currently only has two trucks that are in good condition, making their operations difficult.
Mr Kamanga said Government is concerned about the welfare of workers and will ensure the issue is resolved soon.
Meanwhile, COPWASTE public relations officer Rebecca Chiwala said the company is owed a total amount of K9 million by various companies, including the four local authorities, making its operations difficult.
Ms Chiwala appealed to Government to intervene in the issue so that the company can pay the K1.8 million salary arrears owed to 78 workers.