By Sarah Munthali
Mchinji, February 22, Mana: Deputy Minister of Labour, Skills and Innovation, Vera Kamtukule has called on employers to adhere to labour laws to ensure that their employees are protected at their work place.
Kamtukule made the call on Monday, when she visited Kalumbu Estate and Kamwendo Cooking Oil Cooperative Limited in Mchinji District.
“During our routine labour inspection exercise at the estate, we noticed that there was general adherence of labour laws such as the welfare of staff.
“But we noted that employees are not given protective gear; there is no proper procedure of handling grievances, employees are dismissed without being heard and that is flouting labour laws.
“Rules of natural justice compel someone to be heard before being dismissed,” she said.
Kamtukule said during her visit to the cooperative, it was observed that safety measures were not followed, hence the need to improve.
“I advised the Kamwendo cooperative members to improve on safety measures at their company, because their fire extinguishers expired and I have advised their safety committee to ensure that their fire extinguishers are up to date,” she added.
Meanwhile, Kalumbu Estate Management have been given two weeks to rectify all the anomalies at their estate and the deputy minister also instructed Mchinji District Labour office to follow up for feedback.
Speaking after she visited Mchinji District Labour Office, Kamtukule said the ministry would ensure that all district labour offices in the country have adequate resources to ensure that they work effectively.
“Most district labour offices do not have vehicles or motor cycles, which makes it difficult to do routine inspections.
“Our ministry’s mandate is to protect labour force and develop it, we cannot do that if we do not have the resources,” she said.
Kalumbu Estate Manager, Sosten Mwale, said the estate would adhere to all measures and rectify all the anomalies required by labour laws.
“We have assured the minister to look into all the concerns to ensure that all our employees have a conducive environment for work,” he said.