LABOUR Minister Fackson Shamenda should be investigated for interfering with the operations and administration of private companies such as Dangote Industries Zambia (DIZ) Limited, former Labour minister in the Frederick Chiluba administration Peter Machungwa has demanded.
Dr Machungwa said Mr Shamenda had no authority to nullify the results of the interviews Dangote had conducted in its programme of recruiting new technical and administrative staff.
He told the Daily Nation that it was extremely strange that Mr Shamenda, as a government minister, could take it upon himself to nullify the results of the job interviews in a private company, stating that his action was sending wrong signals to investors, both local and foreign.
Dr Machungwa said unless Mr Shamenda had other personal interests in the administration of Dangote, he had no authority to order management of the Nigerian cement company to invalidate the dully conducted interviews.
He said it was the exclusive right and prerogative of management to employ the calibre of workers it wanted and that the involvement of Mr Shamenda in the internal administration of Dangote was tantamount to political interference.
Dr Machungwa said it was important for Mr Shamenda to restrict himself to government and parastatal institutions under his ministry such as NAPSA adding that even then, the minister could only work through the boards of directors and not directly getting involved.
“As a former minister of labour, I have considerable knowledge in labour matters and industrial relations. Mr Shamenda had no authority to nullify the job interviews Dangote had conducted in its staff recruitment programme. I find it very strange that a government minister could personally get involved in the recruitment of staff in a private company. It is the exclusive right and prerogative of management to conduct interviews and employ workers of its own calibre,” Dr Machungwa said.
He explained that if Mr Shamenda was not happy with the recruitment exercise Dangote had embarked on, the best he could have done was to work with the Ministry of Home Affairs and ensure that foreigners with similar qualification as Zambians were denied work permits.
Dr Machungwa said it was not the expectation of Zambians that a government minister should be trotting across the country quarrelling with investors over who should be employed.
He said had Mr Shamenda been invited by Dangote to advise on their recruitment drive, it was going to be perfectly in order for the minister to do without dictating and imposing his decision on the cement company.
Dr Muchungwa advised Mr Shamenda to restrict himself to the role of ensuring that investors were complying with the country’s labour laws.