The Zambian Government has called on foreign investors to abide by the laws of the country when handling human resources issues.
Labour Minister Joyce Simukoko said this when she toured some farms in Chongwe district with area Member of Parliament Japhen Mwakalombe this Wednesday.
Simukoko said government wants a fair deal between investors and employees so as to promote development.
She noted the trend by most investors who take advantage of the ignorance of some local people concerning labour rights and hence exploit their workers.
Simukoko also observed that records have shown that Zambian employers also have the habit of mistreating workers.
“We have records that show that our own people are the ones that are abusing their employees by paying them peanuts and not giving them safety clothing,” Simukoko said.
She also called on workers in the country to always speak out when they find that their rights are being abrogated.
Simukoko emphasised on the need for employers to take note that every right, has responsibilities and appealed to workers to make use of their leaders so as to ensure their concerns are attended to.
“The biggest problem with our people today, is ignorance and not having interest in fighting for what is theirs in the name of fear,” she noted.
And Chongwe MP Japhen Mwakalombe said he has been receiving reports of farm workers going through a lot of hardships at the hands of investors.
He disclosed that most farm workers in his constituency are poorly paid and live in deplorable houses.
“I have been receiving reports and am glad the minister of Labour together with the commissioner and inspectors are here to see for themselves,” Mwakalombe said.
Meanwhile, Labour Commissioner Givens Muntengwa disclosed that the visit is aimed at promoting labour laws at the work place and also ensure peace and harmony prevails between employee and employer.
“All I can say is that a team of our officers working together with the local leadership will be visiting these farms to try and harmonise the worker’s conditions of service according to the Labour laws,” Muntengwa said.
Among the farms visited where Chartonel Estates, Diamondale Farm and Chambers Valley farms.