ZAMBIA: Exploitative investors warned

Labor Minister Fackson Shamenda

Labour and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda says Government will not allow a situation where investors exploit Zambian workers by giving them meager wages.

Mr. Shamenda says investors who come to invest in the country’s economy should be ready to abide by the Zambian laws and any departure from the laid down laws including the new minimum wage translates to abrogation of the law.

Mr. Shamenda regrets that some investors have a tendency of defying the stipulated Zambian labour laws a situation he says frustrates the workers.

Mr. Shamenda, who was flanked by Chongwe Member of Parliament (MP) and Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo, was speaking when he addressed Khal Amazi Management in Chongwe today.

Khal Amazi is a commercial farm based in Chongwe district.

He said labour is a cost to production and that there can never be production if workers are frustrated and operate under a timid environment.

Mr. Shamenda and Ms. Masebo who inspected and toured Khal Amazi farm before addressing the workers were shocked that the workers at the farm do not have a Union to represent them in their grievances.

The two cabinet ministers who paid an impromptu visit at the farm revealed that only a Workers’ Forum existed, which the duo described it as ‘toothless’.

And Chongwe MP Sylvia Masebo regretted that some farm owners in Chongwe have a very bad working culture.

Ms. Masebo is, however, happy that the Government signed the Statutory Instrument on revised minimum wage and it is now laws.

The Tourism Minister threatened to expose %u2018cruel investors’ in her constituency because they were frustrating government efforts.

She directed that Farm proprietor Gregory Barns including Human Resource Manager David Tembo pave way to the formation of a union to allow the workers to speak through a union unlike a forum.

And Farm proprietor Gregory Barns promised that he would effect the new minimum wage next year adding that he would not go against the law.

Government revised the minimum wages and conditions of employment for domestic, shop and general workers./QFM

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2 responses to “ZAMBIA: Exploitative investors warned”

  1. Namulinda says:

    I was also wondering where the management comment was…………(right of reply)

  2. Common Sense says:

    Its sad that I am only now discovering this news entry. It is interesting to note the one sided reporting that has been written here.

    The minimum wage increase was announced by President Sata and most of the workers and their elected leaders assumed immediate implementation (which is why the Honourable Ministers immediately visited the largest employer in the Chongwe area). Khal Amazi are members of the National Farmers Union, the largest union in Zambia (I doubt they will appreciate being called toothless). After President Sata’s announcement and the ensuing confusion regarding minimum wages the National Farmers Union brokered a deal with the government, in the interest of saving jobs (a 50-70% increase in wages is bound to cause widespread layoffs) the new minimum wage will only be enforced the following year. This is why Gregory Barns informed the MP’s that the new wage will be in effect as per National Farmers Union guidelines and government policy.

    In no way were Khal Amazi attempting to exploit the workers by allegedly underpaying them. Please get all the facts before posting information on your website.

    And no, I am not in any way affiliated with Khal Amazi or friends with any of the management or stakeholders.

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