Minimum wage causes riots in Kitwe

TEN people were arrested in Kitwe yesterday following running battles with police over the non-payment of the revised minimum wage.
The 10, who were arrested for riotous behaviour, are part of a group of workers hired to construct the Freedom Park shopping mall. They have been charged with conduct likely to cause breach of the peace.
The rampaging workers blocked the road with stones and burnt tyres as they demanded payment of the revised salaries.
On July 11, Government issued a statutory instrument raising the minimum wage for domestic, shop and general workers by 100 percent. The revision takes effect this month-end.
Police in riot gear dispersed the workers, who blocked the road leading into town in the early hours of yesterday.
Copperbelt commissioner of police Mary Tembo confirmed the arrest of the workers in an interview after a violent protest over the alleged failure by their employers to pay them the revised minimum wage.
She said the workers disrupted the flow of traffic in the early hours of yesterday.
“We have arrested 10 workers from a company constructing the shopping mall in Kitwe. The workers blocked the road leading to town causing a huge traffic jam,” Ms Tembo said.

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