A pay dispute between Kabula United (formerly Escom United) and its former coaches Charles Manda, McDonald Mtetemela and Aubrey Nankhuni refuses to die a year after their firing.
In separate interviews, Manda, Nankhuni and Mtetemela claimed they were owed millions of kwacha in game bonuses, salaries and salary arrears. Last year, Manda sought legal help, but Escom management opted to pay him out of court.
However, Manda on Tuesday said the club never fulfilled its promise.
“I am owed contract fees for two years I worked as assistant to Young Chimodzi and contract fees for another two years as coach,” said Manda.
Mtetemela said he was not paid one-month salary promised after dismissal and he cannot wait any longer. Nankhuni, who first called The Nation, also said he was worried over the dues and was considering seeking legal help.
“We do not even get a call to update us on the issue. Having to wait from last September to this September is too long a time,” Mtetemela complained.
But Kabula chairperson Fanuel Nkhono said Nankhuni, as a fellow Escom employee, they can talk internally and that Mtetemela was not on contract.
“We have an obligation with Manda and we expect to pay him once we get our money which is scattered all over clubs. I did not write to him [Mtetemela]; may be the general secretary [Richard Samba] did; otherwise, he was paid on month-to-month basis,” said Nkhono.
Mtetemela called on Nkhono to be sensitive on the matter considering the period he has waited for his dues, adding: “I am not disputing that I was not on contract, but I was still supposed to be paid after dismissal.”
Escom sold the spine of the team then fired the three coaches amid steady decline which interim coach Alex Masanjala failed to arrest, leading to eventual relegation to the Premier Division where they also had a struggling start.
Kabula players have also complained over pay dispute. Escom are two time TNM Super League champions.