By Kondwani Magombo
Mangochi, February 24, Mana: Deputy Minister of Labour, Vera Kamtukule, has cautioned business owners in the country to ensure adherence to Covid-19 preventive measures which were set by her ministry.
Kamtukule made the call on Monday when she made a surprise tour to some of the businesses, mostly the hospitality industry in Mangochi.
She noted that some lodges are failing to adhere to stipulated Covid-19 preventive guidelines, warning against the attitude.
“In some lodges we noted lazy attitude towards adhering to Covid-19 preventive measures such as wearing of masks; At one lodge, we found that there was a bucket outside at the reception but they didn’t have water, neither did they have soap,” Kamtukule said in an interview at the end of the tour.
“When we asked them they said ‘we have run out of water’ while the river was just metres away!” she added.
Kamtukule said she has since given business owners who are failing to adhere to the preventive guidelines one-week ultimatum to put their places in order.
She said her ministry will task the district labour officer to supervise and assess the adherence after the ultimatum and that in the event that there’s still no compliance, the ministry will follow what the law mandates.
Kamtukule also took time to assess staff welfare and how employers were managing protection of their employees and guests against the pandemic.
According to Kamtukule, other business places in the district are doing a commendable job in following Covid-19 preventive guidelines.
She said: “When we went to Sun n Sand they made us all go through a disinfection chamber where one is sanitized the whole body; when we went to Club Makokola we saw that they are very strict in terms of wearing masks for all the staff, washing hands and all that.”
Sun n Sand Managing Director, Abdul Munaf Rashid said thei entity has been adhering to Covid-19 preventive guidelines since February 2020 after seeking advice from the district’s health office (DHO).
“We asked the DHO to advise us of which they did; we have been having training sessions on Covid-19 preventive measures with our workers and there hasn’t been any retrenchment – instead we support the workers,” said Rashid.
Rashid added that Sun n Sand has ordered masks to be distributed to surrounding communities as part of their corporate social responsibility.
The Deputy Minister’s surprise visit took her to seven business places namely; Villa Tafika; Fort Johnstone Hotel; Mwema Lodge; Jazaka Lodge; Maldeco Fisheries Limited; Sun n Sand Holiday Resort and Club Makokola.