The PF government, in its usual fashion of breaking the law with impunity has breached the provisions of the minimum wage bill it enacted a few months ago by paying wages of between K200,000 and K500,000 to workers who were engaged in the tree planting exercise by the forestry department.
A Watchdog check at Mpima forestry extension plant in Kabwe revealed that the workers who were engaged in December with booming verbal promises of being paid between K1,000,000 and K1,5000,000 were shocked when they were paid meagre salaries and most of the youths quit the exercise.
“When we were engaged, all they asked for were NRCs and then we were assigned to do the various tasks here, this job of pot filling and watering and transplanting is very laborious but the government only paid us between K200,000 and K500,000,” said one of the youths currently working at the forest.
The youth, who completed grade 12 in 2011 added that they were just working due to the rising poverty levels in the country but has urged government to set standards in aherence to the minimum wage bill which stipulates that the minimu wage any person can get is about K750,000.
“If the government is in the forefront of breaking its own laws, then what do we expect from private investorsm, especially foreign ones?” he asked as his coleagues echoed the sentiments.
During the recruitment exercise, the office of the DC Patrick Chishala was very instrumental in alluring youths into the exercise and Chishala personally pointed the exercise as one of the job creation methods of the PF, but when the youths brought the complaint to his office, he failed to defend his position, making them suspect that he could be part of the confusion.
The youths complained that the meagre salaries they were getting were not of any benefit as it can not even pay for transport and food costs to and from their respective homes.