Chikwawa cane cutters strike over low wages

There was commotion on Wednesday in Chief Lundu’s area in Chikwawa District when cane cutters burned down part of Illovo Sugar (Malawi) Limited cane fields and blocked the M1 in protest against low wages.

Chikwawa Cane Cutters Contractors spokesperson Louis Kasuzweni said the cane cutters also destroyed their  contractors’ offices.

Part of Illovo cane fields

He said: “We are disappointed with the conduct of employees today. The cane cutters have a welfare committee which could handle their grievances rather than taking such a violent approach.”

Kasuzweni said each cane cutter gets K1 150 for a portion which produces about 3.5 tons in a day but they wanted it to be raised to K2 000.

The affected contractors affected included Longoni, Mukunkha, Makhaza, Our Father, Sitikamba and Zikomo.

Illovo Sugar communications manager Ireen Phalula said the situation will not disrupt milling (sugar processing)operations.

Chikwawa Police Station officer-in-charge Dave Chingwalu said no arrest  has been  made. n


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