THE Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) yesterday claimed that its members were at the weekend forced to attend a Zanu PF rally at Kagande in Mutoko and were ordered to register as voters for the party in 2023.
Artuz tweeted that rural teachers affiliated to the union were now refusing to go back to their workstations for fear of victimisation.
“Over the weekend, members of Zanu PF terrorised some teachers in Mutoko district, forcing them to register as part of the five million voters for Zanu PF. In some cases, Zanu PF had all the details of the teachers, they just visited to confirm. In Kagande, teachers were forced to attend a rally,” Artuz posted on its Twitter handle.
“A total of 31 teachers reported through our hotline. Our rapid response team is in Mutoko assessing the safety of some teachers who refused to attend the Kagande meeting and those who refused to register as Zanu PF voters for 2023.”
But Zanu PF party spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo dismissed the claims and challenged the affected teachers to report the matter to the police.
“Zanu PF is a party of law and order, we subscribe to the rule of law. If there are any instances of what Artuz is alleging, then they should report such matters to the police,” he said.
“If they want to get to the bottom of the issue, the Zanu PF provincial leadership is there. They should ask the provincial chairman what is happening. The police are there to contain such characters.”
Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro said he had not received reports of teacher intimidation by ruling party
“No, we have not received any reports of such nature, and please also note that some of these teachers’ unions who have a membership of at least 386 people only want to cause alarm and despondency,” he said.
But Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said teachers were being victimised, adding that government had dismally failed to fulfil its promises to teachers.
“We also are witnessing a sad situation where village heads are teaming up with school development committee members and are evicting the incapacitated teachers from school accommodation,” he said.
“We want to warn such misguided figures that they have no locus standi in intervening in cases between teachers and their employer.”