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Government justifies 900,000 jobs claim

Gospel Kazako

Vera Kamtukule

The Ministry of Labour has backed President Lazarus Chakwera on claims that his administration has created more than 900,000 jobs.

In his State of the Nation Address (Sona) last week, Chakwera indicated that the country had made progress in creating employment opportunities for citizens.

However, some quarters expressed reservations over the figure.

However, Labour Minister Vera Kamtukule justified the President’s assertions during an interface with the media on labour issues.

The minister said jobs that had been created included permanent and non-permanent ones.

“Our job creation has been based on the International Labour Organisation (ILO)’s definition of employment. ILO defines ‘an employed person’ as a person aged 15 years or older who has worked for pay or profit for at least one hour during a given week or having a job from which being absent under conditions on the reason of absence such as holiday, sick leave, maternity leave or duration [may result in economic loss],” she said.

She said this definition covers employees, the self-employed, family workers or even illegal immigrants who secure jobs.

“In a nutshell, a job is any source of livelihood where man-hours are spent to generate income and contribute to economic growth,” Kamtukule said.

She said the current administration had emphasised job creation as a means of empowering the citizenry to have incomes to sustain themselves and their families and, consequently, overcome challenges such as poverty, unemployment and food insecurity.

“Investment in human capital through skilling, up-skilling and reskilling is an integral part of the job creation agenda as it enhances an individual’s employability,” Kamtukule said.

Information and Digitisation Minister Gospel Kazako said the creation of one million jobs was achievable in the short term.

He said these jobs would largely come from the private sector.

“The public sector also has potential to create jobs. Already, the public sector jobs are substantial. The various ministries and departments are creating jobs directly through recruitments or indirectly through flagship projects including the Affordable Inputs Programme and the National Economic Empowerment Fund. The construction industry has been a source of many jobs, from road construction, rehabilitation and upgrading; construction of bridges; hospitals, health centres, schools and 10, 000 houses for our security agencies,” Kazako said.

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