By Trevor Makonyonga
The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has rubbished claims by Public Service Minister, Paul Mavhima, that the organization is foreign funded describing them as “ridiculous and absurd.”
Mavhima made the claims on Voice of America’s Studio 7 on Wednesday which alleging the teachers’ union was “funded by hostile foreign handlers.”
Chere said, “As ARTUZ we take note and takes exception to the ridiculous and absurd utterances made by Minister Mavhima on Studio 7 on the 8th of September 2021. In an interview, the excitable minister stated that ARTUZ is an organisation funded by hostile foreign handlers to cause despondency in the country in general and the education sector in particular.”
Chere vehemently denied the minister’s claims and explained the funding of the union.
“We wish to categorically and unequivocally posit that ARTUZ is a progressive revolutionary teachers’ union formed on the behest of perennial abuse of teachers in Zimbabwe since time immemorial. ARTUZ is a Zimbabwean organisation, formed by Zimbabwean educators to represent the collective interests of Zimbabwean teachers and learners. The existence of ARTUZ is provided for in the Constitution of Zimbabwe and we exist as a result of the correct provision of the same. ARTUZ was not formed to go to bed with the employer, but to further the interests and welfare of teachers and learners in Zimbabwe. That is our sacred moral and constitutional duty. We will serve,” Chere said.
The ARTUZ Secretary General also said that teachers will apologise for fighting for their rights.
Chere said, “We wish to clearly state, as we hereby do that Zimbabwean teachers do not owe anything to the government. We have a quid pro quo and symbiotic relationship with government as employers and employees. We reserve our right to make reasonable demands to the employer and to use all legal means to get the same. We make no apology for being conscious of our non-negotiable rights and for insisting on our dignity. We will continue to fight for the welfare of teachers and learners in Zimbabwe and neither minister Mavhima nor anyone else can intimidate us. We are proud of our record, we celebrate everything and regret nothing!”
There has been an ongoing battle between teachers and the government pertaining to remuneration with the Government saying that the educators are well catered for whilst the educators have declared incapacitation.