Labour Ministry seeks to address sexual harassment in Malawi tea sector


Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule visited Tea Association of Malawi Offices in Blantyre where she stressed government’s determination to address issues of sexual harassment and child labour in the tea sector.

Speaking in an interview, Kamtukule said the tea industry is the second largest employer in the country and they just had to meet and discuss on how they can collectively deal with issues to do with sexual harassment, child labour and also look into compensation issues.

“Tea industry is an important stakeholder and there are specific issues that we needed to handle regarding on how child labour issues can be addressed because others suspect that we produce tea using child labour and that necessitated us to have this round table meeting and understand how the officials are managing that and if there is a need to adjust we can do so.

”Among other, sexual harassment within Tea sector in Malawi is also something that we needed to address. Workers’ compensation is another thing that also needed attention,” she said.

Kamtukule added that Government is aware that the tea industry is also facing financial challenges and they are engaging other institutions in order to find lasting solutions.

In his remarks, Tea Association Malawi Chief Executive Officer Tonda Chinangwa said the meeting with the Minister was fruitful because they discussed pertinent issues concerning their industry.

“We discussed several matters concerning the tea industry including updating her on the progress made by the tea industry in eliminating child labour; mechanisms implemented for dealing with sexual and gender based violence; and addressing inefficiencies in the workers’ compensation process,” he said.

Chinangwa said the tea industry values the partnership it has with government and the joint efforts towards a sustainable tea industry in Malawi.

He assured the minister that as an industry Tea Association of Malawi remain committed to contributing towards the achievement of Malawi 2063.