Poor funding affects Labour Department operations in Eastern Province

The Department of Labour in Eastern Province has only been allocated about 219,000 Kwacha from this year’s national budget.
Speaking during Budget Tracking Programme on Breeze FM this morning, Senior Labour Officer, Kabuba Mufana says that from this amount, only about 40,000 Kwacha has been released to date.
Ms. Mufuna says that 15,000 Kwacha of this money was used on Labour Day while the rest of the money was used for administrative purposes and payment of settling in allowances to new staff in Sinda and Vubwi districts.
She explained that the department owes staff about 40,000 Kwacha in unsettled settling in allowances.
And Ms. Mufana revealed that last year, the department received about 83,000 Kwacha from a total budgetary allocation of 198,000 Kwacha.
She says that ill funding to the department has affected implementation of activities like inspections of companies and institutions.
Meanwhile only about 50 per cent of employers in the private sector in Eastern Province have fulfilled the revised government minimum wage.
Speaking on Budget Tracking Programme, Senior Labour Officer, Kabuba Mufana says most employers are failing to fulfil the minimum wage because of low turnover.
Ms. Mufana says that the most affected include those in the domestic sector like maids and shop keepers.
And Ms. Mufana was taken to task by callers, who challenged her to name institutions and shops, which Labour inspectors have visited in Chipata this year.
The callers charged that they were not convinced that the Labour Office was protecting the interests of workers.
But Ms. Mufana explained that such information would be provided at a later time.
Ms. Mufuna further stated that she was not obliged to disclose findings of inspections as it was a confidential matter.

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