President Lazarus Chakwera has sent a warning shot to foreigners who employ Malawians and end up ill-treating them saying they will not have the privilege of living in the country if they continue doing so.
Chakwera was speaking at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre during the commemoration of World Labour Day.
The President said his administration would ensure that mechanisms are put in place to protect the rights of every worker in the country.
Chakwera said no worker in the country should be paid below the new minimum wage, denied freedom of association or discriminated against and will ensure that decent work is promoted.
The President also said his administration would abolish tenancy labour, forced labour and child labour.
Deputy Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule said even though May 1 was just one day set aside to celebrate workers every day should be a labour day.
She said: “From the day we are born, all the way to when we are buried there are hundreds of workers ensuring that things happen.”
She said it was a pity that people take things for granted and end up forgetting and dismissing the plight of gallant men and women who tirelessly work every day with resilience and dedication.
The deputy minister also said inequalities in the labour sector were toxic to economic growth because they constrain the labour market thus making it difficult for organisations and businesses to scale up efficiently.
Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (Ecam) Board of Trustees chairperson Zandile Shaba said one of the greatest challenges the Covid 19 pandemic had brought was massive loss of job in the country.
She said a study Ecam conducted estimates that about 680 000 jobs will be lost in the economy with youth and women expected to bear the worst brunt of the losses.
The event was celebrated under the theme ‘Decent Work: Key to Economic Recovery Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic’ and it started with a solidarity walk from Sanjika palace main gate to Sanjika palace marquee. Chakwera led the march.
However, there was an ironic situation when a number of women wearing Peoples Party (PP) and UTM clothes were locked outside the main gate as their counterparts from the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) danced and sang songs of praise inside Sanjika Palace stadium.