Jesuit Scholars Concerned about Gap Between Wages and Food Prices in Zambia

The Logo of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR). Credit: JCTR

Officials of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) have expressed concern about the growing disparity between Zambian workers’ wages and the prices of food in the country.

In their statement on Thursday, November 30, the Zambian scholars expressed regret that the wages received by formal and informal workers in the country fall way below what is reflected in their monthly Basic Needs and Nutrition Basket (BNNB) statements outlining the cost of living.

“JCTR underscores the disparity where wages for domestic workers (among other categories of formal and informal workers) persist below the benchmark set by the cost of food items in the BNNB,” they said.

Officials of the Jesuit entity underscored the need for employers in Zambia to adhere to the government-set minimum wage to help citizens deal with the rising cost of living in the country.

“Emphasizing the critical need for compliance, it is essential for employers to adhere to these adjustments. The increased incomes resulting from such compliance are imperative in aiding citizens to cope, albeit negligibly, with the escalating cost of living,” they said. 


They added that “working together with an aim to ensure that all people live a dignified life by meeting their basic needs (food, housing, health care, education) requires deliberate efforts by the government as well as various stakeholders.”

The officials lauded the government for the upward revision of the minimum wage and conditions of service for non-unionized and vulnerable workers across all sectors.

They urged the Zambian government to revise the salaries of unionized workers who have additional taxes.

In the statement, the Jesuit scholars further called on the Zambian government to stabilize fuel prices in the country, saying, “Recognizing the significant impact of fuel prices on the cost of essential food items, it is recommended that the government takes proactive measures to stabilize and control fuel prices."

They proposed the implementation of “a structured system for fuel pump price revisions, such as revisiting prices every 90 days.”

More in Africa

The strategy, they say, “aims to provide a degree of predictability and mitigate the abrupt fluctuations in fuel costs.”.





Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.