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Chakwera advocates for favourable work environment

By Memory Kutengule Chatonda

Blantyre, May 1: President Lazarus Chakwera has reaffirmed government’s commitment to create a favourable environment for workers to deliver tangible results that would foster the country’s socio-economic development.

He made the remarks on Wednesday at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre when he led workers in the country in World Labour Day commemoration.

Chakwera said he is aware of the challenges workers face in line of their duties, describing the challenges as ‘temporary’.

He further stressed that government has enacted different pieces of legislation to ensure that workers work in a conducive environment and that their rights are respected and protected at all times.

“We have the Labour Relations Act and the Workers Compensation Act, in particular, which has been established under the Pension Act. These are some of the safety nets to support the workers,” he said.

Chakwera, therefore, commended workers in general for the invaluable contribution they make to promote development in the country.

He, however, advised workers to embrace the spirit of hard work and dedication to achieve tangible and desired results which will, in turn, promote development in all sectors of the economy.

“Whether you are employed in construction projects, Mega Farms, foreign business investments, or you are operating small-scale businesses that were supported by the National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF), work hard and deliver good results,” he said.

Chakwera also said government will continue implementing social protection programmes such as AIP and Social Cash Transfer to support vulnerable households with food and income.

Speaking earlier, Employers Consultative Association of Malawi president Anne Chavula recognised the good relationships existing between employers and employees in the country, noting that such cordial engagements are helping to foster development in the country.

She hailed President Chakwera for assenting to different laws, such as the amendment of Pension Act 2023 and Labour Relations Act, all aimed at promoting fair treatment and protecting employees against modern day ‘slavery’.

In his remarks, Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU) Secretary General Madalitso Njolomole appealed to government to fast-track the gazetting of the newly adjusted tax-free band from K100,000 to K150,000 to ensure that low-income earners have more disposable income.

Njolomole also asked government to institute measures that will ensure that companies employ more local skilled workers than foreigners.

On his part, MCTU president Charles Kumchenga commended Chakwera for walking in solidarity with the Union since he assumed the presidency four years ago.

Kumchenga also hailed Chakwera’s administration for recruiting and promoting more teachers across the country.

Earlier, President Chakwera, together with the First Lady Monica Chakwera, joined the solidarity walk from Robin’s Park to Njamba Freedom Park.

Upon arrival at the venue, he toured pavilions mounted by different public service institutions, showcasing products and services.

Labour Day falls on the 1st of May every year and is celebrated globally. The day offers a platform to recognise and appreciate the valuable contributions of workers, advocate for their rights, and promote decent work for all.

This year, the event was commemorated under the theme: ‘Investing in Social Protection in Achieving Decent Work for All’.

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