|The State Department web site below is a permanent electronic archive of information released prior to January 20, 2001. Please see www.state.gov for material released since President George W. Bush took office on that date. This site is not updated so external links may no longer function. Contact us with any questions about finding information. |
NOTE: External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.
TITLE: ZAMBIA HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1994 AUTHOR: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DATE: FEBRUARY 1995 ZAMBIA Zambia is a republic governed by a president, a unicameral national assembly, and a constitutionally independent judiciary. After two decades of one-party rule, free and fair multiparty elections in October 1991 resulted in the victory of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) and the election of President Frederick J.T. Chiluba, a former trade unionist. In addition to the former ruling party, the United National Independence Party (UNIP), some 30 opposition parties were active to varying degrees. The Zambia police, divided into regular and paramilitary units, and operating under the Ministry of Home Affairs, have primary responsibility for maintaining law and order. In January President Chiluba appointed a new inspector general of police with a mandate to eliminate human rights abuses and corruption. Despite reform efforts begun in 1994, including human rights training and punishment of some offenders, the police continued to commit abuses, including beating and extrajudicial killing of criminal suspects and detainees. The Zambia Intelligence Security Service, under the Office of the President, is responsible for intelligence and internal security. During 1994 the Chiluba Government continued its free market economic reform program. Tight monetary and fiscal policies kept inflation low as the Zambian currency stabilized and real interest rates fell dramatically. There was considerable public criticism of the reform program, exacerbated by allegations of high-level corruption in the Government. Poor rains at the end of the 1993-94 growing season resulted in a reduced harvest of maize, the staple food. The Government relied on imports to make up the shortfall. The key copper industry benefited from increased world prices during much of the year, but production fell from 1993 levels. The Government began to take steps to address one of its most serious human rights problems, police brutality. Throughout the year the government-appointed Human Rights Commission aggressively pursued allegations of past and present human rights abuses and kept public attention focused on incidents of police wrongdoing. Nevertheless, by year's end much remained to be done to restore professionalism and discipline to the police force. The Government generally respected Zambians' civil liberties but persisted in attempts to limit freedom of the press. The Constitutional Review Commission took public testimony during most of the year but had not yet drafted a new constitution to replace the 1991 Constitution. The Government's commitment to legal reform with respect to the press remained unfulfilled. In December the National Assembly passed a bill strengthening judicial autonomy. Prison conditions deteriorated further, posing an increased threat to the health and lives of inmates, and women continued to experience discrimination in both law and fact. Wife beating and rape remained widespread. RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from: a. Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing There were no reports of political killings during the year, but police continued to use excessive force that often resulted in extrajudicial killings. In one well-publicized case in January, police claimed to have killed three armed criminal suspects attempting to flee the scene of a burglary. However, after witnesses testified they had seen police take two of the three men into custody, the police revised their accounting of the incident, claiming instead that the two suspects had died of wounds suffered during a subsequent escape attempt. Credible reports indicated that the police had interrogated the two suspects and had killed one of them with a single shot in one eye. According to reliable press reports, almost all based on statements by police spokesmen, police killed at least 30 criminal suspects between January 1 and November 15. Most of these killings allegedly occurred when police attempted to apprehend suspects during the commission of crimes. At least 10 criminal suspects died in police custody, mostly as a result of beatings inflicted by police officers. For example, the Human Rights Commission heard testimony from a Lusaka family that a relative died on May 19 after police broke his neck with an iron bar. On June 10, a robbery suspect severely beaten by police died at Matero police station in Lusaka. In another incident, never fully explained, a robbery suspect allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in a jail cell in Chililabombwe. Throughout the year, government officials, nongovernmental organizations, and the press closely scrutinized police involvement in human rights abuses, criminal activity, and corruption. In January President Chiluba appointed Francis Ndhlovu as the new Inspector General of Police and gave him a mandate to reform the force. Ndhlovu instituted a variety of measures designed to restore discipline, professionalism, and respect for human rights. These included involuntarily retiring several senior officers; reopening the police training academy, which had been closed for 7 years, with a new curriculum that includes a human rights segment; cooperating with the Human Rights Commission in making police officers available to testify; arranging with the nongovernmental Zambia Civic Education Association (ZCEA) to provide human rights training to officers in selected police stations; undertaking investigations of instances of police use of excessive force; and beginning to discipline and prosecute officers who committed human rights abuses. By August 1, some 230 middle-ranking and senior police officers were enrolled in training courses at the police academy. According to statistics made available by Inspector General Ndhlovu, at least 33 police officers were the subjects of internal investigations or prosecutions between January and September. At year's end, most of these cases, which involved murder, attempted murder, and deaths in police cells, remained before the courts. However, in 1994 the courts sentenced at least three officers to prison terms. Further, according to reports in the Zambian press, the authorities arrested at least 16 police officers between January 1 and September 15 on such criminal charges as robbery and possession of illegal narcotics. In addition, the Human Rights Commission, chaired by prominent attorney Bruce Munyama, aggressively examined police human rights abuses in public hearings held throughout the year. These hearings not only brought to light numerous abuses, but they also forced police officers to account for their behavior in sworn testimony. By year's end, the Commission had not yet submitted to the President its final report, which will include recommendations to improve the human rights performance of the police. b. Disappearance There were no known instances of disappearance. c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Although the 1991 Constitution prohibits torture, police regularly used excessive force when apprehending, interrogating, and detaining criminal suspects or illegal aliens. In most such instances, detaining officers beat suspects. During the year, the Human Rights Commission heard testimony from numerous credible witnesses who said police had assaulted and beaten them. In one case, a middle-ranking police officer admitted that a senior officer had instructed her to deny medical attention to a suspect whom other officers had beaten. In another incident, the authorities dismissed from the force and arrested four officers involved in abusing a young woman at Woodlands police station in Lusaka. By year's end, the Government had not disciplined or prosecuted any of the individuals allegedly involved in the torture of persons detained in connection with the 1993 state of emergency. According to the Law Association of Zambia, officers who in 1993 beat a youth suspected of theft are still employed. Deteriorating prison conditions posed an increased threat to prisoners' lives. According to official statistics, prisons designed to hold 6,500 prisoners held over 12,000. This severe overcrowding, combined with poor sanitation, inadequate medical facilities, meager food supplies, and lack of potable water resulted in serious outbreaks of dysentery and other diseases at various prisons throughout the year. In July a prisoner in Mongu died from meningitis and in August a prisoner in Kitwe died from dysentery, according to reports in the Zambian press. Also in August, dysentery struck some 44 inmates at Kamfinsa prison in Kitwe. During August an official told Home Affairs Minister Chitalu Sampa that Kamfinsa, Kansenshi, and Ndola remand prisons had run out of food and were feeding prisoners only coarse hominy and salt. The Human Rights Commission visited Kamfinsa prison in early 1994 and was reportedly appalled by the deplorable living conditions of prisoners. d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile Criminal suspects are often arrested on the basis of flimsy evidence or an uncorroborated accusation. In these and other criminal cases, the law requires that a detainee be charged and brought before a magistrate within 24 hours. Pretrial detainees are allowed access by attorneys and family members. However, in practice, the authorities hold most detainees for more than 1 month from commission of an offense to first appearance before a magistrate. In many cases, an additional period of 6 months elapses before the magistrate commits the defendant to the High Court for trial. Following committal, preparation of the magistrate court record for transmittal to the High Court takes months--in some cases as long as a year. Once a case reaches the High Court for trial, court proceedings last an average of 6 months. Approximately 3,000 of the 12,000 prisoners are awaiting trial on criminal charges. In early 1994, in an effort to demonstrate that the courts as well as prosecutors were responsible for long delays in the judicial process, the Director of Public Prosecutions compiled a list of approximately 150 prisoners who had been awaiting trial since 1988. In some cases, defendants have been awaiting trial for 10 years. In August a judge discharged a defendant who had been in custody since 1986. These long delays are the result of inadequate resources, inefficiency, lack of trained personnel, and broad rules of procedure that give wide latitude for prosecutors and defense attorneys to request adjournments. Although there is a functioning bail system, overcrowded prisons reflect the large number of detainees who have committed serious but common offenses for which bail is not granted. These include murder, aggravated robbery, and since 1993, violations of the narcotics laws. Also, poor or indigent detainees rarely have the financial means to post bail. The government legal aid office is responsible for providing legal representation to poor or indigent detainees and defendants in both criminal and civil cases. In practice, few receive assistance. In 1994 the office had 15 attorneys to cover the entire country and a budget of $110,000. According to well-informed sources, police stations frequently become "debt collection centers," where police officers, acting upon an unofficial complaint, will detain a debtor without charge indefinitely until he or she pays the complainant. In return, the police receive a percentage of the payment. This situation is commonplace among police stations in Copperbelt province. The authorities held approximately 550 foreigners, principally from neighboring countries, as illegal aliens until they could deport them. At times, these detentions last months or years. In the past the Government has not used exile for political purposes. However, on September 1, the Government deported John Chinula, a member of the Central Committee of UNIP, the former ruling party. Minister of Home Affairs Chitalu Sampa said that Chinula had been determined by the Government to have been a "prohibited immigrant" who entered Zambia illegally from Malawi, where the Government alleged he was born. Legal and human rights groups protested the deportation, asserting--along with Chinula--that Chinula had been born in Zambia and that the deportation was a denial of due process. Zambian law provides that a prohibited immigrant is liable to deportation once a valid deportation order is signed. Chinula's longstanding ties to Zambia and his prominence as a politician raised questions about the Government's motives in deporting him. e. Denial of Fair Public Trial The Government respects the independence of the judiciary. On December 2, the National Assembly passed a judicial autonomy bill that will enhance the independence of the courts by separating their administration from the Ministry of Legal Affairs. The President nominates and the National Assembly confirms the Chief Justice and the other eight members of the Supreme Court. The Court has appellate jurisdiction for all legal and constitutional disputes. Several high courts have authority to hear criminal and civil cases and appeals from lower courts. Magistrate courts have original jurisdiction in some criminal and civil cases, while local, or customary, courts handle most civil cases at the local level. These local courts employ the principles of customary law, which vary widely throughout the country. Lawyers are barred from participating, and there are few formal rules of procedure. Presiding judges, who are usually prominent local citizens, have great power to invoke customary law in rendering judgments regarding weddings, divorces, inheritances, other civil proceedings, and minor criminal matters. Judgments are often not in accordance with the Penal Code; for example, they tend to discriminate against women in matters of inheritance (see Section 5). Trials in magistrate courts are public, and defendants have the opportunity to confront accusers and present witnesses. Many defendants, however, are too poor to retain a lawyer and the poor state of the Government's legal aid department means that many Zambians entitled to legal aid find that it is unavailable. There are no political prisoners in Zambia. The trials of a number of UNIP members detained in connection with the 1993 state of emergency continued in the courts during 1994. All defendants remained free on bail while their trials proceeded. One person convicted in 1993 remained free pending consideration of his appeal. In March a Lusaka magistrate acquitted one of the defendants. In September another magistrate found Member of Parliament Wezi Kaunda, son of the former president, guilty of possession of a seditious document-- the so-called zero option plan. Kaunda was exonerated, however, of the more serious charge of treason and remained free as he appealed the conviction to the High Court. f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence The Constitution provides for respect for privacy and the inviolability of the home, and the authorities generally respected these rights in practice. Except during a state of emergency, the law requires a warrant before police may enter a home. Roundups of suspected illegal aliens in the home or workplace continued. According to the government Commissioner for Refugees, immigration officials are empowered under the law to conduct these roundups without a warrant. Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: a. Freedom of Speech and Press While the Constitution provides for freedom of expression and of the press, the Penal Code lists various prohibited activities that may be broadly interpreted and in effect restrict freedom of expression and press. By year's end, no action had been taken on media reform proposals to revise many of these archaic Penal Code provisions. The Government generally respected freedom of expression, but invoked these restrictive laws--for example, prohibiting defamation of the President--in selected cases. The Government or its appointed officials filed over two dozen libel and defamation suits against the independent weekly newspaper, The Post, in response to a series of headlines and stories focusing mainly on issues of corruption and controversial government policies. The Government harassed Post personnel by detaining them for short periods for questioning in connection with these reports. In another instance, the Government charged a Member of Parliament and former minister with making accusatory statements in the course of his reaction to having been fired from his ministerial position. At year's end, these libel and defamation suits were still awaiting decisions by the judiciary. In August Parliament passed an ethics bill, one section of which extended the authority of investigative tribunals to call as witnesses journalists and media managers who print allegations of parliamentary misconduct. Failure to cooperate with the tribunal may result in charges of contempt punishable by up to 6 months in jail. Although the Government denied it, this was seen by the media as a clear infringement on press freedom and a means for parliamentarians to bypass the clogged court system in dealing with libel suits against the media. The Press Association of Zambia announced its own media ethics code and voluntary industry ethics board within days after the bill was passed, denouncing the amendment in the process. The Government owns the two most widely circulated newspapers, as well as most radio and television broadcasting stations. There are a number of independent newspapers, three of which are active in questioning government actions and policies and which enjoy considerable circulation. At midyear, the Government approved and issued eight licenses to independent radio and television broadcasters to begin construction of facilities. The first of these went on the air in December. The Government exercises considerable influence over the government-owned media, which to varying degrees have followed the government line on important issues. The Government took no action to restrain academic freedom during the year. In October, however, the Government sternly warned University of Zambia students not to participate actively in politics. Education Minister Alfeyo Hambayi, recalling student unrest that has led to frequent university closings, said students wishing to participate in politics should leave school. Authorities threatened that students who violated the ban would lose their scholarships. b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association The Constitution provides for freedom of peaceful assembly and association. In practice, the Government respected these provisions. Under the Public Order Act of 1955, persons or organizations wishing to hold an assembly, public meeting, or procession must first apply for a permit. The Government routinely granted these permits to political parties and nonpolitical organizations, including to former President Kenneth Kaunda, who beginning in July held a series of political meetings and rallies. All organizations must apply formally for registration to the Registrar of Societies. In most cases the authorities routinely approved these applications. However, an Islamic party, which the Government refused to register in 1993, had not been registered at year's end. During the year, there were over 30 political parties in operation. c. Freedom of Religion Freedom of religion is provided for in the Constitution, and all faiths worship freely. d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation The Constitution provides citizens the right to move freely throughout Zambia, to reside in any part of the country, and to depart and return to the country without restriction. The authorities generally respected these rights during 1994, but police roadblocks to control criminal activity continued, and police sometimes extorted money and goods from motorists. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that there were approximately 141,000 refugees, mainly Angolans, in Zambia in 1994, down slightly from 1993. The Government cooperated with the UNHCR in processing applications for refugee status. A steady trickle of Zairians continued to cross into Zambia during the year. In response to alleged criminal activities of many Zairians in the border region, the Government rounded up, arrested, and deported many Zairians and other illegal aliens throughout the year. The deportation of illegal aliens is lawful, but Zairians and others who had been accorded refugee status by the UNHCR were sometimes picked up and held for varying lengths of time before being released. In several cases, the Government deported refugees who were registered with the UNHCR. Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government Zambian citizens exercised the right to change their government in free and fair multiparty elections in 1991, following years of one-party rule by UNIP. Nationwide local government elections are scheduled for 1995; elections for President and the National Assembly are scheduled for 1996. The ruling MMD controls the executive branch and the National Assembly. Under the 1991 Constitution the President wields broad authority. Although the National Assembly ratifies major appointments and has other powers, in practice it continued during 1994 to provide only a limited check on executive authority. The state of emergency that President Chiluba declared in March 1993 lapsed 3 months later, and he did not use this constitutionally authorized power during 1994. The pace of constitutional reform increased during the year as the 24-member Constitutional Review Commission conducted hearings throughout the nation. The MMD continued to be the dominant political force in the country. UNIP was further weakened by internal divisions, exacerbated during the last 6 months of the year by former president Kaunda's return to active politics. The National Party, formed in 1993, foundered due to indecisive leadership, internal divisions, and a lack of clear direction. These and other political parties generally operated without government interference, although individual UNIP members were sometimes subjected to harassment. Several political parties contested National Assembly by-elections, all but one of which were won by the MMD. These elections featured a low turnout of registered voters, and their fairness was undermined by the MMD's use of government resources--including the state-owned media--during campaigns. In some instances, MMD campaign themes were highly intimidating, such as when high-ranking government officials told voters that their region would not receive development assistance if they failed to elect the MMD candidate. Opposition parties called on the MMD to update the voter register in order to enfranchise thousands of citizens who became eligible to vote since the register was last updated in 1989. Although the Government publicly recognized the need to revise the register, by year's end it continued to delay the preparation of a concrete registration plan. The number of influential women in politics and government is increasing. Women now serve as cabinet ministers, deputy ministers, members of the National Assembly, ministerial permanent secretaries, numerous elected local government officials, and leaders of nongovernmental organizations. Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights A number of human rights and civic organizations operated without government hindrance. These include the Law Association of Zambia, the Foundation for Democratic Process, and the Zambia Civic Education Association. Other groups were active in promoting women's civil and political rights. The government-appointed Human Rights Commission operated throughout the year and, as previously noted, was a vigorous human rights advocate. In general, the Government continued to be receptive to criticism from human rights and civic organizations, but on occasion, government officials, including the Home Affairs Minister, accused human rights monitors of abetting crime and thwarting the work of the police through their focus on the victims of police brutality. Despite such charges, the police cooperated with the ZCEA during part of the year to facilitate human rights training to police officers, although a dispute over course content disrupted the training in August. In September the ZCEA and police agreed to resume the training in early 1995 at the police training academy. Police officers regularly appeared before the Human Rights Commission. The Government was receptive to inquiries or visits by international human rights organizations. Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, Language, or Social Status The Constitution prohibits discrimination based on race, tribe, sex, place of origin, marital status, political opinion, color, or creed. Women Both the Constitution and law entitle women to full equality with men in most areas. In practice, Zambian women are severely disadvantaged compared to men in formal employment and education. Married women who are employed often suffer from discriminatory conditions of service. For example, allowances for housing and children and tax rebates to which they as employees are entitled often accrue to their husbands. Similarly, women have little independent access to credit facilities; in most cases, they remain dependent on husbands, who are required to sign for loans. As a result, few women own their own homes. Customary law and practice also place women in subordinate status with respect to property, inheritance, and marriage, despite various constitutional and legislative provisions. Under traditional customs prevalent in most ethnic groups, all rights to inherit property rest with the deceased man's family. The 1989 Intestate Succession Act is designed to guarantee women a share of the joint estate. Under the Act, the children of a deceased man share equally 50 percent; the widow receives 20 percent; the parents, 20 percent; and relatives, 10 percent. In practice, "property grabbing" by the relatives of the deceased man continues to be rampant, particularly when local customary courts have jurisdiction. These courts often use a different law, the Local Courts Act, to distribute inheritances without reference to the percentages mandated in the Succession Act. As a result, many widows receive little or nothing from the estate. Another problem is that fines for property grabbing mandated by the Succession Act are extraordinarily low given high inflation since the law was enacted. During 1994 the Ministry of Legal Affairs and nongovernmental organizations examined ways to amend the law to safeguard the rights of women more effectively and to increase the penalties for violations. By year's end, however, an amended Succession Act had not yet been introduced in Parliament. Violence against women remained a serious problem. Wife beating and rape were commonplace. According to official statistics, 2,243 rape cases were reported to the police between 1990 and 1994. Of these, 709 resulted in conviction and 102 in acquittal. The remainder were either dismissed or are unresolved. Defendants convicted of rape normally were sentenced to prison at hard labor. Since many rapes are not reported to the police, the actual number is certainly much higher. Domestic assault is a criminal offense, but in practice police are often reluctant to pursue reports of wife beating. In June the spokesman for the Zambia police said that officers will follow up on a case if a victim desires to press charges, but that in other cases police will try to broker a reconciliation. The Government and nongovernmental organizations expressed increasing concern about violence against women, and the media devoted considerable publicity to it during the year. Children The Government seeks to improve the welfare of children, but scarce resources and ineffective implementation of social programs adversely affected the welfare of children and adults alike. Due to harsh economic conditions, both rural and urban children often must work in the informal sector to help families make ends meet (see Section 6.d.). There was no pattern of discrimination or societal abuse against children. In September the Ministry of Legal Affairs sponsored a 3-day workshop on "The Human Rights of the Child." People with Disabilities Persons with disabilities face significant societal discrimination in employment and education, and the Government took steps to ameliorate their hardships, including establishing a national trust fund to provide loans to the disabled to help them start businesses. The Government has not legislated or otherwise mandated accessibility to public buildings and services for the disabled. Section 6 Worker Rights a. The Right of Association The Constitution provides for the right of citizens to form trade unions, and approximately 60 percent of the 300,000 formal sector workers are unionized. The country's 19 large national unions, organized by industry or profession, are affiliated with the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). The ZCTU is democratically operated and, like its constituent unions, is independent of any political party and the Government. By a majority vote of its members, a union may decide on affiliation with the ZCTU or with trade unions or organizations outside Zambia. The ZCTU is a member of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. Labor leaders travel without restriction to international conferences and to visit counterparts abroad. In late 1994, the Mine Workers Union of Zambia and a number of other ZCTU constituent unions, in rejecting the results of ZCTU leadership elections, took steps to disaffiliate themselves from ZCTU and establish a rival umbrella organization. This process continued as the year ended. The 1993 Industrial and Labor Relations Act (ILRA) reestablished the "one industry, one union" principle. The Bankers Union of Zambia, a new union, was duly registered with the Government in 1993 but has been unable to operate because the employers recognize the existing Zambia Union of Financial and Allied Workers. In November 1993 the Ndola High Court ordered the Government to register the Secondary School Teachers Union of Zambia. The Government appealed to the Supreme Court, noting that secondary school teachers were already represented by the Zambia National Union of Teachers. The case remained pending at year's end. All workers have the right to strike, except those engaged in essential services, the Zambia Defense Force, the judiciary, the police, the prison service, and the intelligence security service. The ILRA defines essential services as power, medical, water, sewerage, firefighting, and certain mining occupations essential to safety. It permits strikes only after all other legal recourse has been exhausted, and in practice all work stoppages during the year were illegal. The ILRA prohibits employers from retribution against employees engaged in legal trade union activities. Workers engaged in illegal strikes do not enjoy this protection, and there were at least two instances in 1994 when employers fired workers engaged in illegal strikes. b. The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively The right to bargain collectively is established by legislation and is contained in the ILRA. Employers and unions in each industry negotiate collective bargaining agreements through joint councils in which there is no government involvement. Civil servants and teachers, as public officials, negotiate directly with the Government. Collective disputes are first referred to a conciliator or a board of conciliation. If conciliation fails to resolve the dispute, the parties may refer the case to the Industrial Relations Court or, in the case of employees, vote to strike. In practice, the industry joint councils function effectively as collective bargaining mechanisms. The ILRA prohibits antiunion discrimination by employers against union members and organizers. An employee who believes he or she has been penalized for union activities may, after exhausting any existing administrative channels for relief, file a complaint with the Industrial Relations Court. This Court has the power to order appropriate redress for the aggrieved worker. The complainant may appeal a judgment of the Industrial Relations Court to the Supreme Court. In practice, the Court often orders employers to reinstate workers found to have been the victims of discrimination. There are no export processing zones. c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor The Constitution prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude, but it authorizes citizens to be called upon to perform labor in specific instances, for example, during national emergencies or disasters. Moreover, a citizen can be required to perform labor that is associated with traditional civic or communal obligations, as when all members of a village are called upon to assist in preparing for a visit by a traditional leader or other dignitary. d. Minimum Age for Employment of Children By legislation, the minimum age for employment of children is 16. The Labor Commissioner effectively enforces this law in the industrial sector, in which, because of the high demand for employment by adults, there are no jobs available to children. However, the law is not enforced for the vast majority of Zambians who work in the subsistence agricultural, domestic service, and informal sectors, where persons under age 16 are often employed. In urban areas children commonly engage in street trading. e. Acceptable Conditions of Work In August, pursuant to Statutory Instrument Number 99, the Minister of Labor set the minimum wage for nonunionized workers at $0.11 (70.30 kwacha) per hour. On a monthly basis, assuming a 48-hour workweek, a worker earning the minimum wage would receive $22 (14,600 kwacha). The minimum wage covers nonunionized workers in categories such as general workers, cleaners, office orderlies, and watchmen. The minimum wage is insufficient to provide an adequate standard of living, and most minimum wage earners must supplement their incomes through second jobs, subsistence farming, or reliance on the extended family. With respect to unionized workers, each industry through collective bargaining sets its own wage scales. In practice, almost all unionized workers receive salaries considerably higher than the nonunion minimum wage. The legal maximum workweek for nonunionized workers is 48 hours. Maximum limits for unionized workers vary. The minimum workweek for full-time employment is 40 hours and is, in practice, the normal workweek. The law requires 2 days of annual leave per month of service. Zambian law also regulates minimum health and safety standards in industry, and the Department of Mines is responsible for enforcement. Factory safety is handled by the Inspector of Factories under the Minister of Labor, but staffing problems chronically limit enforcement effectiveness. There are no legislative provisions to protect a worker who refuses to work on safety grounds. (###)
[end of document]
to 1994 Human Rights Practices report home page.
Return to DOSFAN home page.
This is an official U.S. Government source for information on the WWW. Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.