Mutharika admits minimum wage on lower side, assures to lift Malawi workers out of low pay

President Peter Mutharika has said his administration will ensure it raise a minimum wage from the current K687.70 per day.

President Mutharika joins workers walking in solidarity of May day in Blantyre.Pic-Francis Mphweya-Mana

Mutharika was responding to the appeal by the Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) to raise minimum wage.

Speaking on Monday May 1 in commemorating International Labour Day, MCTU president Luther Mambala said the current rate does not reflect the rising cost of living in the country.

“The minimum wage that workers are receiving is very low,” said Mambala

He appealed to authorities to “lift workers out of low pay.”

Mambala said: “What is pathetic is that some of these big companies pay low salaries despite making huge profits which is unacceptable.

President Mutharika said emphatically that his administration will address the issue and that government is taking necessary steps to adjust the wages taking into consideration the sustainability of the companies.

“Our minimum wage is too low,” conceded Mutharika. “This minimum wage is on the lower side and not enough for survival.”

He directed the Ministry of Labour, Youth Sports and Manpower Development to do consultations “to make sure we adjust minimum wage upwards.”

Mutharika said his government was committed to improving the welfare of all workers in the country.

“The minister [of Labour, Youth Sports and Manpower Development , Henry Mussa] should act with speed, kupanda apo 4 x4 ija ikuthawani [or else you will lose the ministerial vehicle],” said Mutharika on a lighter note.

Mutharika presided over celebrations of National Labour Day which were commemorated under the theme; Enhancing Skills Development for Job Creation and Employability in the Work Place.

The President said his government recognizes the need for a skilled workforce in transforming the nation from a predominantly importing and consuming country to a predominantly producing and exporting country hence its commitment in establishing community technical colleges across the country.

“The success of any country depends on the skills of its people. Skills development enhances industrialization which eventually boosts economic growth of the nation. As such, my government has joined the private sector in realizing this quest,” he said.

The President called on the private sector to employ more local Malawians including fresh graduates from public universities to ease unemployment in the country.

Mutharika expressed concern over the habit by some foreign investors who are allegedly exploiting the rights of Malawian’ workers through physical and emotional abuse.

“I have learnt that some foreign employers are calling Malawian workers monkeys including their president. I will not tolerate this kind of exploitation and if found, you will face the law. If you are a foreign investor, you will be deported within 24 hours,” he warned.

Earlier, President Mutharika joined a solidarity big walk in commemoration of the day.

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