The ruling Zanu PF party is being accused of bullying thousands of Zimbabwean teachers who failed to report to work on Monday protesting over poor salaries.
Teachers all over the country on Monday engaged in job action demanding that their salaries should be paid in US$. Teachers are currently earning around ZWL23 000 which is about US$100 according to the parallel market.
Teachers unions which include the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) and Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) declared that their members were “incapacitated” to report for duty.
While admitting that teachers are facing financial problems, the Zanu PF Harare Province urged “teachers unions to give heed to the government directive and call for teachers to report for duty whilst their grievances are being addressed”.
“Today some teachers in government schools didn’t report for work following a declaration of teachers incapacitation issued by teachers unions,” Zanu-PF Harare Metropolitan secretary of education Takudzwa Mashumba said in a statement.
“The incapacitation declaration (Strike) by the teachers unions is not fair for both parents who had sacrificed and paid their school fees and kids who have been greatly disadvantaged due to Covid-19 lockdown.
“Teachers have genuine grievances which, according to the government, are being addressed.
“We strongly condemn desperate opposition opportunists who would want to hijack and politicize the teachers strike into a political problem.
“Government is committed to solving teachers’ grievances which is why a National Joint Negotiating Council was put in place.
“We strongly appeal to the teachers unions to give heed to the government directive and call for teachers to report for duty whilst their grievances are being addressed,” Mashumba said.
PTUZ Secretary General Raymond Majongwe accused the ruling party of “bullying” teachers.
“This is interesting. We say to Zanu PF Harare ‘Don’t Bully teachers. We are asking for dialogue with our employer. You want professionals to survive on 23 000 RTGS? How?. Don’t politicize this matter. We are very patriotic for your information.’ @edmnangagwa,” he said.