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Alba Iulia
Thursday, July 2, 2020

Stop Being Cowards and Don’t Allow Yourselves to be Exploited by Employers, Simukoko Tells Zambian Workers

Headlines Stop Being Cowards and Don't Allow Yourselves to be Exploited by...

LABOUR Minister Joyce Nonde Simukoko has advised Zambian workers to stop being cowards and allowing themselves to be exploited by employers.

In an interview, Simukoko said if the current generation was the one that existed during the liberation struggle, the country would still be under colonial rule because today’s workers had too much fear of the unknown.

“Now if we are going to be cowards, then we are not going to implement anything. The generation of today, if it was the generation which was there to gain independence, by now, we could still have been under colonial rule because people are scared of the unknown. Now us as Ministry of Labour, we are not God; as minister, I won’t guess what is happening in Kafue, I am not a super human being. So that’s why relationships between employer and employee, the most important thing is communication, we should communicate to each other. So I am appealing to all the workers to know their rights and communicate to us, we even have a toll line now, we have told them they can call us on a toll line and tell us. If they are cowards, they should tell us that this is the employer and this is how we are working without necessarily them telling us their name, we have done all that,” Simukoko said.

She said her ministry had not received any complaints from workers working for Chinese businesses but would get details from Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa on the Chinese companies that were forcing employees to stay on their premises in a bid to avoid them being exposed to the Coronavirus.

“So those people have not reported to us, we don’t know the workers, we haven’t seen them. Anyway, for the mayor, yes he apologized and I think our Labour Commissioner will be getting the details from him but we haven’t heard anywhere else. That is also the only one we saw but what I am saying is workers have the right to report the employer if that employer is forcing them to do what is not in the labour laws. They have a right to report to our ministry or utilize the District Commissioners, they are there and they have been very active to help us on issues of labour,” Simukoko said.

She said only certain classes of workers were allowed to work during the night as it was illegal to force workers to sleep at places of work.

“But the Chinese also, we have told them that they need to first write to us or come and see us and tell us why they want people to start sleeping there and if they are going to have people to stay there, the inspectors are going to see whether the place is conducive for them to stay there and just why they should stay there. But you see, just one day you wake up and say people should sleep here, it’s not correct and it’s not law. So if the workers, you know, the workers also must know their rights, that’s the problem we have because people in Zambia don’t want to read. We have labour laws, people must read and understand them and I tell them every day, there is no one who can fire you for saying the truth, let them fire you if you are lying. But if you are telling the truth, how can they fire you? You will be reinstated but there is fear, fear of the unknown,” said Simukoko.

“So no employer has the right to force anyone to sleep at a work place. We have nurses, we have doctors, we have certain classes of employees that work overnight but anything other than that, they have to communicate to the Ministry of Labour…and where there is no Ministry of Labour, we always work with District Commissioners in other cases. They will go there and see whether it’s conducive and what the reason is [for wanting workers to be sleeping at places of work]. So it’s not just waking up and say people should come and work at night.”

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  1. What are Zambian labour laws for and why are taxes paid to GRZ if not for several protections?

  2. She is a liar don’t listen to her, she will be the first person to send police, to your homes, the best she can do is to sit down with employers and explain Zambian labour law says.In short that lady she is not fit to be on that position,I even doubt if she knows how to cook.

  3. This is what passes for a cabinet minister?
    Whose job is it to ensure lavour laws are enforced? Is it not the government? But pf cant touch the chinese who are locking up our people like slaves? I mean, look at how they came down hard on miles sampa when he had some courage to deal with the racism of the chinese!
    A credible government would have dealt with this nonsense decisively. But pf are scared of raffling the feathers of their masters, so they are trying to pass the blame of their failure on to the helpless, exploited workers. What a shame!

  4. This is like a parent whose child is being molested by a stranger and the parent blames the child and calls them a coward!
    Why cant you deal with the problem? Close down those chinese businesses that are abusing our people and deport the ones found flaunting the law and practicing racism!

  5. Madam you are useless, how do you expect workers to be brave when your lobour laws are pathetic, before asking workers to be brave tell them your achievements made by you as minister of lobour, vimeno.

  6. I worked with a lady sometime ago who told me that she classmates with “Ba Joyce” as she called her as Chipembi Girls Secondary School and she was so amazed at how dull ba Joyce in school. This was the time Joyce Nonde was in the Unions. I guess dullness never goes away! And yes, she is now a Cabinet Minister!

  7. Do your job go to every company and do a spot check interview the workers and get information for your self. You ministry is a sellout, people will report but you are quick to be bribed by their employers hence the employees always losing out. Go in the field and do your job don’t wait for work to come to you before you spring into action. Your govt is corrupt and useless, your very sentiments are what will make people think twice about coming to you. And if govt is number one in abusing employees what do you expect from these foreigners who see you always defend their actions?

  8. This Minister is full of herself. What do you mean workers don’t know their rights? And if they don’t, whose responsibility is it to make sure that at least workers know and understand their basic rights? If not your ministry then who? The ministry of Education? By the way, how many sensitization campaigns (other than just on labour day) do you undertake per year for both employers and employees countrywide? And I don’t mean Seminars where you send a few senior staffers so they can collect allowances. I talking about campaigns for a common worker in places like Kaputa or Shan’gombo. My guess is, probably NONE.

    Here in America, it is actually against the law for employers not to display/post, in a public place at place of work, a summery of workers’ rights which may include such…

  9. Continue…

    basic info as: the right to paid brake/lunch times, minimum wage, overtime rules, extra. These are some of the Labour Ministry’s innovations to educate workers this woman should be concentrating on than insulting them that they are “cowards.” How can they not fear for their jobs when a Minister whose duty is to protect workers but all you do is threaten them and side with the abusers. You even make other Govt officials (like Mayor Sampa) who actually give damn about workers welfare apologies for speaking up for them.

    Who are you kidding woman?!

  10. Indeed! How can hundreds of Zambians allow to be intimidated by 4 or 5 Indians or Chinese? At Pepsi in Lusaka the Indians mistreat Zambian workers and steal their salaries, the Zambians just complain at home but scared to protest or complain because they would loose their jobs

  11. Zambian workers are never cowards, the problem is the governance systems which is corrupt and favors employers even when the law of contract is clear.

    The labor and immigration officials receive kickbacks and given large sums of money by these so called Asian investors who mistreat iur sisters and brothers.

    They are fully aware of the fact that bribery is most worst of corruption.

    And there is no Political will on thr ground to fight this scourge.

    PF must go!

  12. My gosh ! Is this woman okay? How many complaints of mistreatment of Zambian workers has she acted on? Isn`t it her attitude to labor issues that has empowered the Chinese to mistreat Zambians, because the Chinese know that Zambian workers have nowhere to seek help from. The only way is to vote PF. How can the Chinese, dog and cat eaters come to Zambia and begin to insult and dominate Zambians?

  13. @Gupta, you are asking how 4 -5 Chinese can intimidate 100 workers. I am asking how the entire Mayor of Lusaka can apologise to 3 Chinese who are racists.

  14. This Useless Woman, mouth still wide open as if she’s seen a Ghost. Very useless indeed.
    Lastly #P.FKUYABEBELE!

  15. I would love to hear how the faithful pf caders on this blog will defend this stance by their government.

  16. The Chinese have a very different work ethic to Africans……that is why trump hates them , no one can compete with them on work.
    If Zambians can even have just half the work ethic of a Chinese , we will develop.

    If only Chinese patronisim and work ethic could be copied from what they do in Chinese primary and secondary schools into our own schools , we would learn and work well with Chinese.

    Indians are another story , what have they brought to Zambia apart from broke Indians to become rich in Zambia and bring more Indians in turn. ?

  17. Isn’t this the same Minister who condemned Miles Sampa for storming a Chinese-owned factory where our own people were being abused by locking them up for fear of contracting coronavirus? Hypocrite!

  18. I gree with you Honorable.Only problem is the govt has also been involved in abuse of workers.A classic example is the retirement in national interest and public interests your govt engaged in.So yes zambian workers should not be coward including the govt

  19. Joyce my Dear, first you should understand that the Union in Zambia is dead ( Thanks to Chiluba, may his soaul rest in Peace), then you should know that the rate of un employment in Zambia is very High, Thirdly you should know that most Zambians work for Companies owned by individuals and that is their only lively hood since generally Zambians are not empowered.
    Now tell me if I reported my employer, for how long is he going to keep me i the Job, mind you we are all on contract and it is easy not to renew a contract, now Joyce the question, DO YOU LIVE AMONG US IN ZAMBIA FOR YOU TO SAY THINGS THAT ARE NOT CURRENTLY PRACTICAL OF ARE YOU SOMEWHERE ON MARS?

  20. This is the caliber of ministers working with clueless Lungu. This woman doesn’t qualify to be in any ministerial position, as even her tone doesn’t sound like she deeply cares about the Zambian workers. Clueless Lungu needs to quickly replace her with someone else as she is making him look even more clueless. She’s now blaming the workers for being enslaved by the Chinese. And yet we don’t see her reprimanding employers who violate labor laws. When Mayor Sampa confronted the Chinese companies that were abusing their workers, what action did this foolish woman take against them? She says the Chinese should write to her if they want their workers to be locked up in their factories. Without the workers’ concert? Because if that arrangement is made without the workers’ concert, then…

  21. … that’s exploitation, that’s slavery. The workers have to agree to work extra hours, and for a reasonable extra pay.

  22. The Zambian GRZ should seriously study and consider the patriotic and work ethic indoctrination Chinese and other asian students learn from primary to secondary schools. It works.

    We have a western teaching culture in our schools………but the west are way ahead already after looting other countries.

    Chinese and other Asian countries started with nothing but instil patronisim and hard work from primary even kindergarten school.

    That is what Africa needs.

  23. This woman is probably the dullest (icipumbu!) Minister Zambia has ever had – since independence! Just reading what she’s said makes one feel like vomiting. Is this a Minister who can defend workers rights??

  24. This woman is a lazy-bone no wonder the Ministry of Labour has been reduced to a shell of itself. These are the Ministers who are making the PF unpopular. I wonder why President Edgar Lungu does not fire this incompetent Joyce Nondo female!

  25. Who does this woman think she’s fooling?? Is this not the Joyce Nondo who ‘sleeps with’ employers instead of protecting workers interests? When did she ever become interested in workers plight?

  26. Who does this woman think she’s fuuling?? Is this not the Joyce Nondo who ‘sleeps with’ employers instead of protecting workers interests? When did she ever become interested in workers plight?

  27. This Joyce Nondo Simukoko (whatever she calls herself) is such an embarrassment to the women folk. Only in Zambia can a woman of her caliber be a Minister, of anything.

  28. LOOK WHO IS TALKING!!! This woman is of a questionable character. She should just shut it.

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