LAFARGE Cement has shocked an employee who says the company delivered him a dismissal letter while he was hospitalised, bedridden and battling for his life.
Joseph Zimba 38, a former employee of Lafarge Cement under security department was admitted to Mum’s Care Clinic on September 6, 2018 after collapsing and twisting both of his legs while on duty.
According to documents from the clinic, Zimba was advised not to move from his wheelchair until he fully recovered.
After being discharged, Zimba told Kalemba that he was shocked that the company he worked for over 13 years could hand him a retrenchment letter on his sick bed.
Zimba says he found the dismissal unfair and “heartless”.
Documents obtained from Mum’s Care Clinic in Lusaka indicated that Zimba was admitted at the hospital and unable to perform any duty as he was on wheelchair and given 30 days rest after which he would be reviewed.
“This person (Joseph Zimba) was attended by me on 5th November 2018 for partial stroke and I recommend that he be off duty for 30 days effective today 5th November 2018,” read the medical report issued by Dr Nelson Banda.
Despite being given 30 days by a medical doctor, the company wrote a letter of terminating his employment of 13 years on November 2018 and delivered it to him on his sick bed citing downsizing of staff as the main reason.
When contacted for a comment, Lafarge Zambia human resources director Thecra Milambo told the author she cannot comment because she felt she was not talking to the right person.
The company’s corporate communications manager Glenda Kamalata said despite being retrenched,the company was still meeting his Medical support for the next one year.
Minister of labour and social security Joyce Nonde described Zimba’s dismissal as inhumane and evil.
Nonde said it did not require a company to read the labour laws but use common sense and humanity and that serving of a termination letter to a dying person was like sentencing them to death.
“I have never seen or heard of such a development in my life, even when the are redundancies at a company, they first go through counselling because losing a job is in time is a major setback,” she said.