‘Zambian embassy in USA humilliated me’

Below is a copy of a letter of complaint to the Zambian minister of foreign Affairs bya former Locally Engaged staff  at the Embassy of Zambia in Washington, D.C. Dolores A.Barot:

Honorable Kabinga Pande
Minister
 Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Haile Sellassie Road
PO Fox 50069
Lusaka, Zambia
12 March, 2010
Dear Honorable Minister :

Please forgive me if this matter has reached you, but I have been disappointed and frustated because of a simple Accounting problem that cannot be solved within the Embassy of Zambia in Washington, DC.
I was a former Locally Engaged staff  at the Embassy of Zambia in Washington, D.C. from January,  1998 to 31 October, 2009 (eleven (11) years, more or less, all those years with Accounts  Section) thus I present the foregoing:

On September 7, 2009, I submitted a  request for increase in my salary. (please see  attached
 
On September 9, 2009, I had a  meeting with First Secretary (Pol. &; Admin.), Mr. Chembo Felix Mbula and First Secretary (Accts.), Mr. Frank Mbewe, regarding my Letter.
 
The following morning of  September 10, 2009, I was abruptly placed under indefinite  administrative leave for no specific/particular reason. (pls. see blood-stained letter dated 9-10-09, attached)
 
The Letter was blood-stained because  when First Secretary (Pol. & Admin.), Mr. Chembo  Felix Mbula told me to surrender my Office key because
he will escort me outside, he was in such haste that my  thumb was cut and bled that I was not even given  time and chance to ask for a band-aid to stop the bleeding. (This is harassment and hostility in the workplace)
 
While being escorted on my way out  of the Embassy premises Mr. Mbula was by my side and First  Secretary (Accts.), Mr. Frank Mbewe was on my back, as if I am a criminal or a thief caught in the act.

That was the  most terrifying and humiliating day of my life.
 
That experience caused me  physical and emotional stress that I was so scared to see the sight of the Embassy of the Republic of Zambia here in
Washington,DC.
 
On 24 November 2009, I received a letter from HE Ambassador Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika  postmarked 23 November, 2009, (pls. see attached)  dated November 5, 2009, retroactively terminating my employment  effective 31 October, 2009.
 
I am still puzzled  whether the said Letter, was really signed and prepared on 5 November, 2009 because  I was still paid  my November
’09 Salary which is now the subject of this problem.  (Please also note that I was abruptly placed under administraive  leave less than 24 hours after my meeting with Mr. Mbula and Mr.Mbewe. On the contrary, it took them  seventeen (17) days to post/mail the Termination Letter
dated 5 November, 2009.)
 
Unlike previously terminated employees, whose final entitlement were paid right away, my final entitlement was paid on December 4, 2009 under Check  No. 5564 in the amount of $6,115.00. (Please note that in the
attached computation, the November ’09 Salary  ($1,325.00) was deducted and the Balance for Salary Advance  ($750.00) was also deducted.
 
Unluckily, the payment was understated so I informed the Embassy that I was underpaid.

 
Despite continuous follow-up about the balance of my entitlement  the Embassy kept on having a deaf ear.They only paid attention to my
follow-up when they received my 4th e-mail which is self-explanatory. (pls. see  attached)
 
On February 1, 2010, the balance of my entitlement was paid under check No. 5723 in the amount of $1,155.00 (please see attached Computation and copy of check).
 
Unfortunately, the payment is again not correct, because the Nov. ’09 Salary – ($1,325.00) and the Balance for Salary Advance ($750.00) were again deducted, although said amounts were previously deducted in
Check No. 5564.
 
Please take note that from the beginning, there was a mistake.”The End Justifies the Means”, thus I kept on following them up about the
balance.
 
Minister Counsellor Alfred Chioza, replied in his email dated 8 March 2010 that there was no double deduction made; all my dues have been
paid and no other monies are due to me, thus I must put the matter to rest. (copy of email attached)
 
With due respect to Min. Chioza, but  he should know that in Accounting, the previous  Computations (Check No. 5564) cannot be
disregarded because that was part  and the basis for the latest computation (Check No. 5723). He should have checked the breakdown why they came out with $6,115.00 in Check No. 5564.
 
Simple arithmetic and anlysis shows that:
 
In the computation for Check No. 5564,the Salary for Nov. ’09 in the amount of $1,325.00) and the Balance of my Salary Advance ($750.00)
were deducted. Netting $6,115.00 
 
In the computation for Check No. 5723,the same amounts for Nov. ’09 Salary ($1,325.00) and the Balance of Salary Advance ($750.00) were again
deducted Netting $1,155.00
 
Therefore, there were double deductions made.
 
Minister Counsellor Chioza is very clear that my entitlements in the amount of $9,345.00 is computed up to 31 October, 2009 (i.e.
November ’09 Salary excluded), yet he could not get why I only received $7,270.00.
 
I cannot accept his simple  accounting  analysis and explanation,  because that are Wrong.  His Accounting explanation is vague like the reason for placing me under indefinite administrative leave on September 10, 2009.
 
Accounting is not a matter of adding or deducting some accounts to balance the amount as was done in my case.  It involves analysis.
 
Why is Min. Counsellor  Alfred Chioza stressing to disregard the previous computation for Check No. 5564, is it because he is afraid that their mistake will be uncovered and too proud not to accept that they made a mistake? 
 
Why don’t he get the Computations for Check No. 5564 and Check No. 5723 and put these two side by side?
 
I had been in the Accounting field for around forty (40) years and I
am certain that there is still other monies that is due to me.  I am definite that the officials concerned do not know Accounting yet, they are too proud not to accept their mistake.  
 
I would like to add that in my eleven (11) years with the Embassy of Zambia, Locally engaged staff were at least given a warning before they were punished. I was punished for no specific reason nor had any
warning before. I had been treated improperly and unfairly.

In  my Condition of  Service, nothing was stipulated about punishment of indefinite Administrative Leave. That is abuse of authority.
 
What was done to me  ( abruptly placing me under indefinite  administrative leave without any particular/specific reason nor previous warning and kicking me out of the Embassy premises like a criminal or a thief caught in the act; keeping on delaying and purposely not paying my Final Entitlement) is cruelty and  not within the scope of their  diplomatic functions, thus diplomatic immunity cannot be an
excuse for their actions. This is an official matter, yet the officials concerned are  taking this matter personally against me.
 
I had been discriminated; inconvenienced and unfairly treated and it is very obvious up to my last entitlement. 
 
On December 2, 2009,  I had requested HE Ambassador Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika for copy of the  the particular circumstances surrounding my actions as charged and the result of the review which was the
basis  for finally terminating my employment, but  they are still “mum” on these up to this writing.
 
I apologize for sounding this way, but I had been devastated and already suffered  long enough.  This is America and with the emotional and
financial stress that the Embassy put me through, it  is just logical to ask for your help and fight for my right.
 
Thank you for your precious time. You are my only hope and the  the person of my last resort. I had exerted all my efforts to resolve this problem with the Officials in Washington, DC but nobody in the
Zambia Embassy in Washington, DC seem to understand my point . You  are my only hope who can resolve this problem, thus your help is sought.
 
Thank you and hoping for your appropriate action; reply and most needed help.

 Respectfully yours,
Dolores A.Barot
6707, 14th Street, NW #A
Washington,DC 20012,

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