ActionAid urges govt to respect integrity of Zambians
By Staff Reporter
ACTIONAID Zambia has called on the PF government to respect the integrity of Zambians at all costs.
And labour minister Joyce Nonde Simukoko says the formal sector is shrinking and that the government has no choice but to depend to the informal sector, even in terms of mobilising taxes.
According to ActionAid Zambia acting country director Jeston Lunda, the organisation was saddened by the statement that was made by finance minister Margaret Mwanakatwe, who urged Zambians to apply for employment as drivers and maids in Asia, specifically in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.
Lunda stated that ActionAid Zambia, as an organisation that advocated for decent work, especially for women, was deeply saddened that the government seemed elated with such ‘employment offers that did not offer protection and integrity to Zambians.
“We strongly condemn the move and urge the government to have the interests of Zambians at heart in all the decisions that they make,” Lunda stated, in a press statement issued by ActionAid Zambia communications and campaigns manager Joan Chirwa
“We understand that employment in the country has been low, with women and youths being the most unemployed as has been demonstrated in several studies,” Lunda said.
He stated that information from credible sources has shown gross violations of human rights, especially for women and youths from Asia where government was encouraging people to seek employment.
“For instance, the guardian in 2015 reported that a quarter of the world’s 53 million domestic staff have no labour rights, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation, beatings and sexual assault,” stated Lunda.
Meanwhile, Nonde-Simukoko officiating at the launch of an analysis of the informal economy in Zambia at Protea Tower Hotel in Lusaka yesterday said there was need to find ways of extending social security to workers in the informal economy.
The minister noted that despite the complexity of the informal economy, the government, through the Ministry of Labour, in collaboration with other stakeholders, was pursuing: “a number of measures to ensure that social security was provided to informal economy workers.”
“Social security is key. So, colleagues in the informal sector let’s start discussing. Yes, there could be certain issues that are very pertinent that our people in the informal economy may want clarity. Let’s start opening up to suggestions,” Nonde-Simukoko noted.
“I’m also appealing to the informal sector that this will make them to become organised and we all know the advantage of organised groups. We all know that the formal sector is shrinking and we are going to depend on the informal sector, even in terms of mobilising taxes. We have no choice! We have to do that.”
She added that the informal sector further presented a diversified set of economic activities, enterprise and jobs that posed a great challenge for government to regulate and protect.