USHERS, who manned the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola during Zambia’s 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Zimbabwe last month, have protested to FAZ president, Kalusha Bwalya over alleged mistreatment by committee member, Richard Kazala.
In a letter to Kalusha dated August 26 written jointly by Ushers Association coordinators, Leah Phiri and Austin Lungu, the ushers said they were disappointed and displeased with the behaviour of Kazala, whom they alleged mistreated and underpaid them.
Phiri and Lungu said it was painful and embarrassing for Kazala to subject their members to unfair treatment, which include threatening to beat up one of the ushers.
They stated that he summoned them to a meeting at night and started counting the number of ushers after such an event had already been done in the morning.
“We would like to put it on record and strongly register our disappointment and displeasure through your office at the manner and behaviour at which we were mistreated, mishandled and underpaid by the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) through Mr Richard Kazala, a FAZ committee member.
It is very important and paramount to note and accept that as stakeholders who derive pleasure in having an incident-free football match, we deserve to be accorded the same respect given to other stakeholders like the Zambia Police, round tablers, Levy Mwanawasa Stadium management etc… when executing our various functions,” Phiri and Lungu said.
This is contained in the letter copied to Sports Minister, Chishimba Kambwili, Ndola District Administrator, Rebby Chanda, Patriotic Front (PF) Ndola chairperson, George Chisulo and the FAZ match organising committee.
They stated that because of being released late at night, some of the ushers were attacked and robbed of the money they worked for and that it would now be difficult for them (ushers’ leaders) to convince their parents to release them (ushers) for future assignments.
On the underpayments, the duo said the ushers negotiated K40,000 with FAZ for 200 members but that instead Kazala allegedly dictated and paid them according to his own rate, much to their disappointment.
They asked Kalusha to help them get K4, 290 as reimbursement because they incurred costs to train, mobilise and demobilise the members prior and after the match.
“It is a well-known fact that amongst our ushers, we have parents, youth and the vulnerable and it is a policy of our current PF Government to empower such groups especially the youth and?vulnerable,” reads part of the letter.
But when contacted yesterday, Kazala said: “Get in touch with the FAZ spokesperson. I’m not the FAZ spokesperson.”
Efforts to get in touch with FAZ spokesperson, Erick Mwanza failed as his mobile phones repeatedly went unanswered.