HRC proves labour minister wrong

THE Human Rights Commission has established that there is a trend among Horse Shoe Restaurant managers of yelling at employees which is creating an unhealthy working environment.

In a detailed report of investigations which the HRC constituted after a complaint from Mika Mwambazi, a Lusaka resident who alleged that she had witnessed one of the managers racially abusing one of the employees in November, HRC director Florence Chibwesha acknowledged that there had been some human and labour rights abuses at Horseshoe.

This comes two days after Minister of Labour Joyce Simukoko ‘toured’ the restaurant and said there was nothing sinister about their operations.

Simukoko also ordered Mwambazi’s arrest for ‘alarming’ the nation.

“There is no racism at Horse Shoe Restaurant contrary to reports in some sections of the media; the place is still conducive for everyone. In fact, Mika Mwambazi, the one who alarmed the nation that there was racism here,” said Simukoko after meeting the restaurant management.

Simukoko attracted widespread condemnation from human rights activists and citizens on social media who have been calling for her resignation.

But in a detailed report, the HRC stated that after interviewing both Horseshoe employees and management, there were some issues which needed to be sorted.

“At a recent meeting with management, we suffered humiliation by Nicky; a manager at the restaurant who called us all sorts of names like rotten eggs, rats, useless and stinking human beings. Workers are slapped and poured water on but they are too scared to report for fear of losing their jobs resorted to beating workers,” read the report in part.

“They make unlawful deduction of wages ranging from k100.00 to k150.00 without proper reasons, inadequate transport allowance and no payment of overtime, other findings revealed workers do not belong to a union.”

The HRC however noted that it had not been able to prove discrimination on the basis of race as there was no solid evidence.

The HRC made several recommendations on how the restaurant management could harmonise the work environment.

“That the process for unionizing the respondents employees be expedited and resolved within 30 days from the date of recipient of this recommendation. That the respondent brings a stop to threats of legal suits or police action against the complainant who expressed her personal opinion upon having interacted with the respondent, that both parties in the interest of reconciliation immediately stop further personal attacks on social media and that the respondents managers or agents stop subjecting employees to shouting and yelling in order to create a healthy working environment,” stated the HRC.THE Human Rights Commission has established that there is a trend among Horse Shoe Restaurant managers of yelling at employees which is creating an unhealthy working environment. In a detailed report of investigations which the HRC constituted after a complaint from Mika Mwambazi, a Lusaka resident who alleged that she had witnessed one of the managers racially abusing one of the employees in November, HRC director Florence Chibwesha acknowledged that there had been some human and labour rights abuses at Horseshoe. This comes two days after Minister of Labour Joyce Simukoko ‘toured’ the restaurant and said there was nothing sinister about their operations. Simukoko also ordered Mwambazi’s arrest for ‘alarming’ the nation. “There is no racism at Horse Shoe Restaurant contrary to reports in some sections of the media; the place is still conducive for everyone. In fact, Mika Mwambazi, the one who alarmed the nation that there was racism here,” said Simukoko after meeting the restaurant management. Simukoko attracted widespread condemnation from human rights activists and citizens on social media who have been calling for her resignation. But in a detailed report, the HRC stated that after interviewing both Horseshoe employees and management, there were some issues which needed to be sorted. “At a recent meeting with management, we suffered humiliation by Nicky; a manager at the restaurant who called us all sorts of names like rotten eggs, rats, useless and stinking human beings. Workers are slapped and poured water on but they are too scared to report for fear of losing their jobs resorted to beating workers,” read the report in part. “They make unlawful deduction of wages ranging from k100.00 to k150.00 without proper reasons, inadequate transport allowance and no payment of overtime, other findings revealed workers do not belong to a union.” The HRC however noted that it had not been able to prove discrimination on the basis of race as there was no solid evidence. The HRC made several recommendations on how the restaurant management could harmonise the work environment. “That the process for unionizing the respondents employees be expedited and resolved within 30 days from the date of recipient of this recommendation. That the respondent brings a stop to threats of legal suits or police action against the complainant who expressed her personal opinion upon having interacted with the respondent, that both parties in the interest of reconciliation immediately stop further personal attacks on social media and that the respondents managers or agents stop subjecting employees to shouting and yelling in order to create a healthy working environment,” stated the HRC.

Stella Goma

About Stella Goma

Stella Goma is a Zambian journalist with a passion for a democratic society and transparency in governance.
Email: stella [at] diggers [dot] news

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