Economy

Minimum Wage Crisis: Chinese Miner Killed in Zambia

The recent controversially adjusted minimum wage in Zambia has continued to cause havoc with the latest incident claiming the life of a Chinese miner while another is battling for his life in a district hospital following a riot in Maamba, Southern Province.

The Chinese national was killed after miners revolted following the failure by Maamba Coal Mine owners failed to pay the just implemented minimum wage.

Labour minister Fackson Shamenda recently announced the signing into law of a Statutory Instrument that compels employers to pay more than K1,000,000 for general workers and over K500,000 for domestic workers.

The abrupt increase have received a lot of opposition from employers who claim government unilaterally made the decision without exhausting wide consultations.

There are fears that the minimum wage could lead to job losses and protests as small scale companies were not prepared to implement the change due to contrained budgets while inflation may be on the rise.

Sources disclosed that miners in Maamba rioted after management failed to implement the minimum wage for payment of the July salaries killing a Chinese that was on duty while another one was badly wounded.

Last week 10 workers at a construction company in Kitwe were arrested after they protested over the minimum wage.

Opposition leaders in the country have condemned the approach applied by the PF government while Shamenda has threatened those making comments on the matter with police action.

Shamenda has since reported people opposing the abrupt increase of the minimum wage with Zambia Federation of Employers Harrington Chibanda receiving a summon from police last week.

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