The continued victimization and persecution of Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) members nationwide have for the past few months been increasing and it seems the action is a well co-ordinated and targeted plan to derail the realization of a liberated education sector, the teachers’ representative body has said.
The labour body reported that four of ARTUZ members namely Chanda Godfrey (23 April 2021)-Chirumhanzu, Praise Ngirazi (29 April 2021)-Victoria Falls, Bridget Dhliwayo (29 April 2021)- Victoria Falls, and Joseph Moyo ( 11 May 2021)- Bulawayo, have been condemned to disciplinary hearings on trumped-up charges.
Mr. Obert Masaraure, the ARTUZ President said it is a very unfortunate scenario that the state has chosen to go after these members in a fashion reminiscent of colonial approaches.
“This attack on our members is an attack on the entire Union, teaching and trade unionism has been criminalized and it is very regrettable that our government sees every issue as a nail that requires a hammer. In modern-day labor relations, this is totally illegal and out of touch with reality. ARTUZ from its’ formation has been facing such kinds of threats and victimization with a number of our members being subjected to having their salaries ceased, kangaroo hearings, and on-station victimization and persecution.
“We call upon the government of Zimbabwe to stop forthwith this kind of unwarranted attacks on peace loving and patriotic teachers whose only crime is to speak out against injustice and point out the reality of incapacitation levels of teachers and the glaring shortcomings in the education sector. ARTUZ remains committed to fighting for true justice, transparency and accountability and demands the government to focus on improving teacher welfare and revitalizing a crippled and comatose education sector.
“To the rest of our membership we urge them not to be deterred by such evil machinations from the employer, our mandate and duty remain the same which is to uphold the standards of education, advocate for better working conditions and favorable labor rights that are in line with modern standards and legal framework. Teachers remain Incapacitated and further antagonizing them is just not only wrong but contravention of labour rights,” Mr. Masaraure said.