Kigezi Highland tea workers have spent seventeen months without payment. This has compelled them to stage a demonstration at Kabale District Headquarters protesting non-payment.Kigezi Highland Tea belongs to prominent business tycoon, James Garuga Musinguzi.
The workers converged at Rushoroza on Wednesday afternoon and led a procession through Kabale town before they pitched camp at the district headquarters demanding that the authorities prevails on Musinguzi to pay them. The striking workers were drawn from various tea plantations such as Kakabano in Nothern Division Kabale municipality, Kiniogo, Bushuro, Rushoroza, Keitankombe in Kitumba Sub County, Kitanga, Nyamarogo and Buhara in Buhara Sub County.
The workers claim that they haven’t received a single Shilling from January 18th 2016. Each worker is entitled to Shillings 5000 daily. Maritazari Barugahare, one of the concerned workers, says company hasn’t given them any explanation for the none payment of their wages. Barugahare says they decided to lay down their tools and match to the district headquarters to show the leaders that they have a very serious problem.
According to Barugahare, they want the district authorities to order Musinguzi to release their wages since they are the ones who allowed him to operate in the district. Prosper Ssalongo Niwagaba, another worker says he joined the company with high expectations of fending for his family but he can’t even pay tuition for his children because of nonpayment.