Labour Commissioner warns Luapula mine

 Labour Commissioner warns Luapula mine

The Labour Commissioner Givens Muntengwa has warned Luapula Mine operating in Mansa to up their game or risk facing serious consequences.

Mr Muntengwa conducted a first inspection at Luapula Mine last year in August which revealed contraventions against the law.

Workers were found working without Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), sanitation and health standards at the mine were in a deplorable state and no proper contracts were given to the employees.

He gave the mine the first warning pending correction of the issues uncovered.

In view of this background, the Labour Commissioner conducted a follow-up inspection on Saturday January 15, 2020 where he observed that the company has bought PPEs for its employees though not meeting the required standards for the Mine safety.

Mr Muntengwa also said that the gloves that were bought are meant to be used in the cold season and not as prescribed for the usage in mining manganese thereby exposing employees to danger.

He said interims of health and sanitation, he is happy that a proper kitchen and hostels have been built for employees residing within the premise.

Mr Muntengwa could not hide his displeasure when he realized that the mine is practicing casualization contrary the laws of Zambia.

He has since warned that he will shortly arrange to visit the company to assess if the recommendations are implemented.

Mr Muntengwa warned that in the next follow-up inspection the Ministry will conduct, he expects to find employees with written contracts.

He has urged employees to refrain from attacking and complaining on social media platforms on Labour matters instead, the Ministry has an open door policy which they can use to have their Labour complaints resolved if aggrieved.

Speaking on behalf of MMRP trading as Laupula Mine Technical Manager ManoJ Raju acknowledged having given the wrong safety boots to employees and willing to do things in a right manner in in accordance with guidance provided by the Labour Office.

Alice Nachilembe

Alice Nachilembe is a Journalist who yearns for a better country with leaders being accountable to their mandate without oppressing the governed.