KATIMA MULILO – Employees at Hollard Insurance Katima branch which opened its doors in the north-eastern town in March, have accused the insurance company of not paying them their salaries for the past two months in breach of its contractual obligations.
One of the employees who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of possible victimisation said employees were promised to be paid N$2000 for bringing 10 clients, and 15 percent commission thereafter for each client they brought to the insurance company.
However, for the past two months, they have allegedly not received a cent, despite them having worked very hard to bring many clients for the insurance company. About 16 agents employed at the Katima branch reportedly have not received their salaries, and whenever they enquire about their salaries, they are apparently always told to wait. They claim management also comes up with all sort of excuses.
“When we signed the contracts, we were told we will be getting paid by month end. March finished and April finished without being paid. We were then told we will be getting paid on the 15th as of May, but now the 15th has passed and we are yet to get our salaries,” said one of the affected workers.
The aggrieved workers also complained the terms of the contracts have also been changed.
“Initially, we were told we will be paid N$2000 for the 10 clients we bring and 15 percent commission, but now they have changed that if we want commission, we will only be paid N$1000 for signing up 10 clients,” said the source.
When approached for comment, the team leader at Katima branch Gellasius Murundu dismissed the allegations. He claimed all those who submitted 10 clients got paid. “If they didn’t get paid it is because they did not submit, all those who submitted got paid,” he said. The workers are saying Murundu is economical with the truth because they have not been paid.
Murundu further stated that he has observed that some agents never read the contracts they signed. “The initial agreement was that they only get N$2000 for the first 10 clients, and get commission for the next clients. But after they complained, their contracts were revised and they will now get N$1000 plus commission on each client they bring,” he explained.
*Aron Mushaukwa is an Information Officer in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in Zambezi Region, stationed in Katima Mulilo