Fired workers besiege Kingdom


Godfrey Marawanyika

FORMER Kingdom Financial Holdings Ltd employees on Tuesday besieged the company’s headquarters demanding their monthly payments which they alleged had been delayed. <
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Management was forced to call in the police to quell the disturbances which temporarily led to a work stoppage.


Acting Kingdom chief executive officer Franky Kufa confirmed the incident and said the former employees’ concerns were not justified since they had agreed with the company’s lawyers on the payment dates.


“We had agreed with the former employees’ lawyers and these guys were aware of the agreement that since they are no longer full-time employees of this institution they would receive their payments on the last day of the month,” he said.


“We even communicated this to the workers’ committee and their lawyers that the payments be made on the last day of the month instead of the 20th of every month.”


Earlier this year, Kingdom took a decision to retrench at least 110 of its employees in order to refocus group operations.


The retrenchment exercise is set to result in the closure of some branches.

Kufa said although the former workers brought business to a temporary halt, the action was not justified since some of them were now employed elsewhere.


He however defended the calling of the police saying the situation could have easily gone out of hand as some of the former employees were shouting.


“What did you want us to do? I had no option besides calling the police because the people who were numbering about 30 besieged our offices although we had an agreement with them,” he said.


Kingdom has six main operating subsidiaries whose business encompasses capital, foreign exchange and money markets, stock-broking, portfolio management, economic and company research, retail banking and more recently, micro-enterprise lending and private banking.


The financial services group has begun to enter the regional market with offices in South Africa and Botswana.


The group posted attributable profits of $13,7 billion, an increase of 56% over the $8,8 billion achieved in the year ended December 31 2002.


Kingdom said the associate companies in Malawi and Zambia contributed 20% of the attributable earnings of the group, up from the 13% achieved last year.