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Thursday, August 11, 2022

The new minimum wage has been misunderstood-Shamenda

Headlines The new minimum wage has been misunderstood-Shamenda

Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda
Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda

THE new minimum wage has been misunderstood by some employers and other players in the labour industry, Labour and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda has said.

Mr Shamenda said he would be sending Labour Commissioner and other officers in his ministry to visit some companies to explain fully the interpretation of the newly-revised minimum wage.

Last month, the Government revised the minimum wages and conditions of employment for domestic, shop and general workers by 100 per cent.

Domestic workers’ salaries have increased from K250, 000 to K420, 000 as basic pay and transport allowance of K102, 400 translating into a total of K520, 400.

Shop workers whose minimum wage was at K419, 000 has now increased to K1, 132, 400 with a breakdown of K700, 000 basic salary and 30 per cent housing allowance, transport allowance of K102, 400 and K120, 000 lunch allowance.

Similar conditions for shop workers would also apply to general workers.

The minister regretted that employers, trade union officials and the general workers did not understand the minimum wage implementation.

He said this when he toured Collum Coal Mine in Southern Province in the aftermath of rioting by irate miners.

He explained that the new minimum wage was only applicable to those workers who are not represented by any trade unions such as shop, general and domestic workers.

The minister condemned the rioting by workers at Collum Coal Mine, which resulted in the death of Mr Wu Shengzai.

Mr Shamenda was accompanied by Southern Province Minister, Obvious Mwaliteta, Labour and Social Security Deputy Permanent Secretary, Trevor Kaunda and some senior government officials.

Mr Shamenda directed the security personnel to ensure that the culprits were brought to book, noting that Zambia and China enjoy warm and cordial relationship that has continued to exist for many years.

He assured the Chinese nationals at the mine that Government would provide maximum protection when operations at the mine return to normal.

Mr Mwaliteta said the Government attaches great importance to the foreign investors.

Chinese Military Attaché, He Zhigian, who represented the Chinese government, commended the Zambian Government for the cooperation in resolving labour conflicts.



  1. The so called clarification did not need to wait until blood had been shed. The fact is that even union represented workers do have general workers category of employees means they were included in the new wages especially that they earned below the previous minimum wage.
    Take the blame as govt for misleading, misinforming and betraying the public in general and the workers in particular.
    too little too late

  2. Instead of explaining what your new minimum wage was all about, all you did was throw figures and threats at the public! That mans blood is on you and your bosses hands!!!

  3. Its you who mislead them mr Minister,you are to blame for what is happening.you should have mad sure that all was in place and explain fully the interpretation of the newly-revised minimum wage to the pipo.,you should given more time to the employers ,stepdown sir

  4. Even this clarification is clear as mud. Is a domestic worker who lives on site required to receive transport allowance? What if the shop worker works at a take-away and is given lunch each day?

    This is also irresponsible: “The minister regretted that employers, trade union officials and the general workers did not understand the minimum wage implementation.” And who is to blame for that? Frankly, it’s Mr. Shamenda with his shamefully poor and condescending explanation. When do these wages even come into effect? From July 4 when the SI was signed, July 8 when the SI was announced (….seriously begs the question of how can someone be forced to pay a higher minimum wage without ANY advance notice), or in August?

  5. Poliyical populist statements have a life span checked by time. Minimum wage rhetoric is greatly misunderstood not by workers but by PF govt, especially Mr Shamenda as minister of labour. In any case few former leaders make good leaders, Chiluba, Newstead Zimba, Alec Chirwa, Liato etc, even wa muya ya ya Joice Nonde Simukoko do not rank among individuals with a good track record of effective leadership. Minimum wage should have been backed by ability for companies to pay by scanning their profitability through ZRA, monitoring regime. Shamenda hasn’t the spine to think except to parrot his Boss by dreaming and pronounces new district formation at a stroke. Any budgets to absorb the creation of districts is non existent or budgets to follow later = CPN Ukwanomics.

  6. There is no clarification needed. Don’t complicate a simple matter. Some employers in Zambia have been used to cheap labour and abusing their workers. Why are we shying away from the truth? A spade is a spade, don’t call it anything else.

    Is it not the case that the inadequacy of labour protection in Zambia is one of the reasons Zambia is a preferred investment destination?

    The Zambian worker and his natural resources are too cheap, poorly regulated and easily accessible to mostly, clever foreign investors, while our lawmakers and the Zambian laws are away sleeping.

  7. I believe the Minister may be misdirecting himself. While the minimum wage as stipulated in the SI applies to those categorised therein, by implication it is the minimum for the whole economy in that we do not expect just because workers like miners have a useless union, then they should be paid below the minimum wage. From what the Minister is say, the miners in sinazongwe should be paid below the wage rate of general workers and domestic servant because they belong to a union. This misdirection and misinformation  come from the lack of consultation with unions and employers otherwise they would have explained to their members

  8. You should understand why the Chinese used the air gun in the first place, they were defending themselves. Now that they didn’t find have any gun, they ended up being killed. Tongas are very emotional people and they don’t know how to express themselves, as a result they are violet people. Its very rare smart people, who know how to get what they want or talk themselves out of trouble or talk through to their goal, resort to violet means. In Rwanda, its the dull Hutu who committed genocide. This behaviour should not be tolerated in  our beloved Zambia. As a Bemba, if the Chinese is not meeting my minimum wage,I will steal from him to make up for short fall. God Bless Zambia

    • Iwe chikala, what is wrong with your tribal mind? For you everything is tonga this bemba this. Tekanya ****** we!!!! Who told you that all workers at Collum Coal Mine in Southern Province are tonga? Infact you will be supprised that the majority of the workers there are bemba since most tongas prefer to farm than work as labourers.

    • PF Cadre with Red Card
      Of all the comments and contributions on this article, yours stands out as the only one that is dull, tribal and retrogressive. I don’t know how that makes you feel but if it doesn’t ring a bell in your head, think about suing those that taught you in school and at home.

  9. Is this the first time that Zambia has a minimum wage structure? If it has been misunderstood, there is something wrong with your communication skills. You hyped the issue to look good in the eyes of the people, now you have been caught out with your pants on the floor and your evil bits dangling!

  10. Rubbish. Minimum wage is minimum wage no exception! The death of the Chinese gentleman is regrettable and those responsible should be punished; but this is no reason to backtrack. Stop shivering and stand up for the exploited workers Shamenda.

  11. ‘Minimum wage for shop workers, minimum wage for domestic workers, minimum wage for cleaners etc’…………what rubbish is that?

    Advanced countries have a SINGLE minimum wage for any kind of job.

    Lets start from defining minimum wage properly, please….

  12. It is disappointing to see Mr Shamenda starting to put his problems, misunderstandings, misinterpretations of the new SI on Minimum Wages onto others. I wonder where Zambia is going with such leaders who don’t seem to have any direction whatsoever in anything they do or say. If Mr Shamenda was a responsible leader, he would have come out at open and told the public that he mishandled the whole issue of the new SI in the first place. Anyway, i think he now understands that he is not the cleverest on labour issues at all.

  13. Looks like nothing that this government has ever done goes right. Just name one issue that they have instituted that has gone well. Nominations (wrong), ministries (many), taxes (not to people’s expectation), jobs (nil), Barotse (nothing doing), salary increments (selfishness personified), diplomacy (wrong jokes), travel (high despite hype on RB), health (secrecy all over), cotton farmers (nothing doing), minimum wage (death and injury), constitution (kaya) etc etc. Everything just seems to have gone awry. What a mess. It is donchi kubeba, pabwato, pamaka (I notice even hard core cadres have forgotten their wonderful slogans these days).


  15. Shamenda is very lazy such that he could not even explain what his new wages really meant to Zambians and employers. Sata should fire this man because one does not wait for blood to be spilt before working on basic ways to make change.

  16. I can’t agree more with Walasa @8 (if it remains there).
    The minister has erred without shame. The minimum wage will form the basis for all employees irrespective if they are in the Unions or not. If anything, unions will rely on this SI as the bare minimum an employer can pay when negotiating pay awards for employees. The ministers statement is yet another lame excuse from the PF when things go wrong and instead of shouldering the blame, they look for scapegoats. If this administration has consulted with stakeholders this life would not have been lost. It is inconsivable that a learnered person would have failed to insist on a time frame for implementation of the SI to allow for adjustments and sensitisation of the nation. And that lack of the time frame is the root cause of this death.

  17. kekekekekekeke…everything they say is “misunderstood”
    1st it was the 90 days rhetoric.
    2nd it was 100% nurses’ salary increment
    3rd deadline for constitution making process
    n it was the ultimatum for street vendors to vacate streets
    …what is next???

  18. When you compound all this failure, in the last 10 or so months, and extrapolate it to September or so 2016, you can derive the total cost of political failure on all the key sectors of the economy, and derive an integral function of Zambian Failure. Any mathematicians out there. I.E. y = f(x………… to the power… ergo 2016. Or one could try to calculate the PV(2016 under the current failure factor to the power…. I believe Shamenda would be one of the endogenous variables to Zambian failure. Yeeish!

  19. Shamenda must resign, he has brought shame to Zambia.These Tonga people are too short tempered and too rough where did they come from?

    • there goes another stupid tribalist who cant just comment on such issues without issuing tribalistic remarks.foolish!

  20. The attacks meted out on the Chinese is the product of PF’s Party investiment into the xenophobia they preached to their followers. The irrate workers are merely translating the gospel of xenophobia into realities as conceived by Sata.

  21. Just because the mine is southern provide doe not mean the miners are tongas, what has happen to this once united country where everything has to be tribal. This is so pathetic to say the least. let us use this space to debate things which will make a difference to our country

  22. Was there a transition period to implement the minimum wage or was it immediate?

    Govt. should fully lay out policies before announcing. Some Zambians are shallow minded, things need to be clarified in Tonga, Bemba, Nyanja, etc.

    • there was no transition period and was even backdated.No consultations with stakeholders and Shamenda even declared on ZNBC that GRZ doesnt negotiate.I guess with mines only

  23. Look employs pay what they can afford. Most of these employers are themselves employs who get very little. The employed are free to choose whether to work for someone or to do something else and it has nothing to do with whether someone is Unionised or not. That is how a free economy works. Any arbitrary measures will just hurt the people who are supposed to be protected. Even the last communist regime now understand this. What we need is forward thinking not living in the past.

  24. Has the president commented yet? Olindilanji? Munthu wachi Chinese e mwalila ka, kamba ka minimum wage. Ala bilepo timvwe.

  25. what??????!!!!! is there anything to be misunderstood over minimum wage. Just trying to create anarchy for himself. This mandevu thing has not seen confusion yet. Its about the 100% you gave yourselves bwana. Just wait until the civil servants get wind of what you have done to your salaries behind the closed door. Fortunately your scheme has been laid bare by the ZWD. I pray that no anarchy befalls on this country. I rest my case!

  26. People are really unaware of the facts. There was a minimum wage before. Now it has been increased. People are now saying “PF brought the minimum wage”. It’s just ignorance

  27. No Mr. Minister you are the one that does not understand. You cannot just make pronouncements without thinking or professional analysis. You are causing a lot of confusion. Zambia’s economy cannot really sustain such wages at this point. A better idea would be for people to paid relative to the industry profits, for example the mining industry has the highest profits in the country why not target them. After all they are getting more from us than we are getting from them. 

  28. How is it that us the Zambians always misunderstand the PF? We misunderstood the 90 day period, the 100% nurses increase, Ukwa’s statements, the Barotse Agreement promise you made during the campaigns and many more. Is it us or its the PF with a problem?

    Shabby Shamenda should know how to consult before making pronouncements. 

  29. We have now hit rock bottom with regard to dullness! Some people have successfully redefined the word FOOL!

    • It raises a lot of questions in my mind about how many Zambians walking the streets have a sane mind, judging from Shamenda’s bungling.

  30. govt promise this ,why not govt pay this? the same means i promise buy one car for my son,but i dont want pay the money from myself,so i go to kill other people for the money…

  31. Shamenda’s statement flies in the face of rudimentary logic.Other than consult all stakeholers on the revision of the minimum wage and give it a transition period,Government insults the wisdom of the people by rushing the process and then later Shamenda himself issues threats.Some one dies as a result and he turns round to claim people misunderstood the minimum wage?Shamenda must resign his position.

  32. All the above comments are 100% negative about Sata and discrediting PF performance. NGA teba Sata who else is their to rule Zambia neverous Mumba is a joker kuti abuka fye NGA camupingula he can just say navileka vabu president and abandon the country . HH is good but the problem is that He is Tonga

  33. @42 Octopus I hope you are not a Zambian otherwise I would call you an *****. You are the reason why we vote the wrong people in power, and people like you need a thorough beating to get ur brains working. Zambia was once a growing country in the region under KK the great, now everyone is laughing at us. Why? because we have people like this Minister in public office. I think its time full Ministers should get approved by Parliament before taking office because this is  really retrogressive. Anyways, I am not a Tonga but HH credentials suit him to be the best person to rule Zambia and move it the right direction.     

    • KK the great? Those queues for saladi and unga. No way KK is great. He helped us get free education yes, but he should have known when to quit like his friend Nyerere in Tanzania. Explains why the old man is never held in high esteem even by the AU.

    • Ya I know HH has good credential but he needs to take his time we can give him a chance in 2026 after 2 terms yaba Sata given lubinda will come on then hh

  34. Is the minimum wage for companies owned by foreigners only. What about Zambians companies exploiting fellow Zambians running restaurants, Taxi Drivers, Private schools. Is it for Lusaka based companies only. What about companies in Isoka and Zambezi. The whole issue should be applied nationally and following proper communications though the department of labour at district level.
    The minimum wage should be a national issue and not a personal agenda.

  35. Every union knows that the minimum wage is for ununionised workers and the union at collum mine should ve explained this to its people before they killed that chinese.dissolve the entire union at the mine and arrest the culprits.

  36. Hakainde is to blame because he wants to continue paying 200,000 to his workers, so he has embarked on misleading the nation. This man Hakainde has no heart for the poor, he made himself rich out of privatization now he has 40,000 heads of cattle but still pay 150,000 to workers,

  37. Hamiyanze # 48,we all know that prison is not a good place to stay,i believe your lover there still misses you,you need to take a break and heal properly after bit..ch..ing around in prison,your behind needs to heal before you start engaging in public debates you loser.

  38. Zambians need to be told that Hakainde is nothing but an Economic Terrorists. How else do you describe a man who from no where privatize all the companies in the country and made himself chairman?? Hakainde is just E.T (Economic Terrorist)

  39. This is waht the English call ‘Locking the stable door after the horse has already bolted’. The minister must take responsibility for the death of the innocent Chinese national. Shamenda must resign. The explanation he is talking about has come a bit too late.


  41. @ Mr. Hambilwi Abana, I appreciate your warry, but as for me Zambian people are important and they need to be given a decent life and they need to told the truth and nothing but the truth.
    Hakainde (E.T) has to be told in uncertain terms. This Economic terrorist just have to resign as a politician which he is not.

  42. Shamenda is a big fool. First he started reporting anyone who wanted dialogue on minimum wage to the police as an inciter. The death of a Choncholi is collateral damage. Those that defiled children in luanshya should have been killed as well. luanshya residents u missed a golden chance. The Choncholis shot at our 11 brothers at collum coal mine. No one should condemn me. successive govt. treating Choncholis as semi gods. we the citizens shall bring the Choncholis down, where they belong.

  43. This is a true example of action first and think later. Now Shameda is thinking, but too late alot of people have already lost jobs, some of the small business have closed doors, the little trust poor kaponyas had in PF is all lost now. The only thing which should have come out of your mouth was to resign and leave this work to the next person to clean up the mess created by you sir.

  44. Ba Shamenda, we told you in the first place.Speed kills.One Chinese dead,others injured,12 ignorant miners arrested and likely to be caged, and imagine how many families are going to suffer, if not already suffering in the process because of your dull head.RESIGN.

  45. The SI47 actually states that no unionised worker nor contract worker will get worse terms than the SI47.  It looks like Shamenda never read the SIs.  That is why employers have been asking the legality of his SIs.  There was no misunderstanding.  The SIs are defective.

  46. I really lucky to find this internet site on bing, just what I was searching for :D besides bookmarked.

  47. Awe sure mwandini..some of these issues, they really make some of us sad. You don’t expect me to pay my employees beyond my profits, I have to look at my profits then work out how much to pay them. If I go by your SI, I will have to fire some employees in order to manage my business profitably but you promised MORE JOBS….

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