By Kudakwashe Vhenge
In a report recently released which is titled “Teaching under the New Dispensation, ” The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe have blasted the government over violations against members of its union and other teachers at the hands of various state institutions.
The teachers union which has been consistently fighting for the inclusive access to quality education, working conditions and remuneration of the teaching workforce has found itself at loggerheads with state authorities.
ARTUZ made headlines in December of 2018 when they embarked on a salary caravan protest march from Mutare to Harare which saw the participants being nabbed by law enforcement agents for allegedly violating the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).
In their report, the teachers union highlighted that their members were detained for 12 hours and then released as the National Prosecuting Authority declined to arrest them noting that they had not violated any law only to be rearrested after they had continued with the march.
“The teachers proceeded with their march but were again arrested on 19 December and were charged with a ridiculous charge of criminal nuisance. Again, the teachers appeared in court after spending a night in holding cells. The court exonerated them of any wrongdoing,” read part of the report.
The document also highlighted a total of twenty-nine incidents of arbitrary arrests, seven incidents of abductions and torture, intimidations, evictions from school accommodation, salary cessations and various kinds of teachers’ violations mainly targeted against members of its Union.
Speaking to this publication, ARTUZ National President Obert Masaraure blasted the Mnangagwa led government for preoccupying themselves with power whilst sidelining the role of teachers in national development.
“The new dispensation is preoccupied with power, hegemony preservation at the expense of social delivery. We condemn the barbaric violations of rights of our hardworking teachers. The Zimbabwean state should realize that the teachers are partners in our quest for national development,” said Masaraure.
The union’s president also stressed that they were driven to come up with a compilation of violations against its members with the hope of bringing justice and hold the violators accountable in the future.
“Documenting is critical for future references. One day we will have the opportunity to hold the perpetrators accountable,” he added.
ARTUZ last week vowed to embark on an industrial action when schools open this term until the government meets their demands.
Some of these demands stated included a just wage for teachers, the introduction of education equalization fund, substantial rural retention and attraction allowance, devolution of national planning and management amongst others.
ARTUZ blasts government over rampant teachers’ violations
By Kudakwashe Vhenge