Vera lambasted for tokenism: Improve our wages, workers tell minister


Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule has been faulted for wearing a domestic workers’ uniform while failing to adequately fight for workers’ rights.

Kamtukule wore a domestic workers’ uniform on Labour Day, saying she was “representing all domestic workers in Malawi”.

However, Malawians have accused the Minister of tokenism, saying she wanted to appear as if she is fighting for the rights and welfare of workers.

Some social media users described the act of wearing a domestic worker’s uniform by the minister as an insult.

Others, commenting on Kamtukule’s Tweet, noted that many domestic workers and those in the informal sector are struggling because they receive salaries which are less than the K50,000 minimum wage hence anyone cannot claim to represent them by just wearing a uniform.

“Am not looking at the dressing, the postures nothing but my interest is the message of representing us all workers in Malawi. There is more to be done like many have commented. The environment is a challenge more especially in the domestic space and the tenants. I wish you well,” said one person on Twitter.

“Lucky you can tweet while most of the domestic workers in Malawi cannot afford to buy a smart phone or even to look smart like you,” another Twitter user said.

One person urged the minister and her Ministry to be vigilant in checking the salaries people are receiving.

“Hon, find time to check the salaries of general workers in all fields. Ndizomvetsa chisoni anthu akulandira malipiro ngati change cha minibus (It’s sad that people are getting low salaries, as if they are receiving change). In the shops they will tell you that they get K10,000, K15,000/month,” a Twitter user said.

During the Labour Day celebrations, Kamtukule noted that domestic workers are struggling as they work long hours for little pay and are fired at any time no matter how many years they have worked.

She said her Ministry is working with Employers Consultative Association of Malawi and Malawi Congress of Trade Union to resolve such issues.

Kamtukule urged informal workers such Kabanza operators and domestic workers to report issues they face to her Ministry for assistance.