Pay workers a minimum wage, lodge owners urged

Stanley Safari Lodge
Stanley Safari Lodge

Luangwa District Commissioner, Eunie Mumba has implored Lodge owners and other investors in Luangwa district to ensure that their workers are paid a minimum wage as per government policy.

Speaking when he paid a surprised visit on some lodge owners along the Zambezi river over the weekend, Mr Mumba said government appreciates the contributions that the investors were doing to the country by offering jobs but urged them to pay their workers a minimum wage to enable them cope with life.

Mr Mumba who was accompanied by the Lusaka Province Principle Labour Officer, Kabaso Chula also commended some investors along the Zambezi River such as Red Cliff Fishing Safari Lodge who was paying his workers above the minimum wage.

And Lusaka Province Principle Labour Officer, Kabaso Chula also urged the Lodge workers to work with government by ensuring that its policies are implemented and people see the benefits.

Mr Chula said his office was aware that some businesses were going under difficulty situations in their operations but they should try to implement the minimum wage policy.

He said it was a government policy that each worker should at least get a minimum wage of not less than K500 and Investors should be seen to follow and abide by this policy.

The District Commissioner led an entourage of some Senior district officials and the Lusaka Province Labour Officer on a random visit of some Lodges along the Zambezi river after receiving some complaints from workers that they were been mistreated.

The Lodges visited were Zambezi River Club Lodge where it was found that though not operational the five workers were getting above the minimum wage and at Red Cliff Fishing Safari while at King Fisher and Tamarind Tree Zambezi Lodge workers were getting below the minimum wage.

Tamarind Tree Zambezi Lodge owner, Patrick Lawton said they were finding it difficult to pay the workers a minimum wage because their business was seasonal.

Mr Lawton told the District Commissioner and his entourage that his business does not operate when there was a fish ban on the Zambezi as there lodge was a fishing safari where clients come to fish.

He said in a year the lodge only operates for nine months and there income depends on the number of clients who have booked for a particular season.

Mr Lawton however commended government for creating an enabling environment for them to operate in and said his company will work tirelessly to help government to achieve in its policy implementation.