14 March 2018

Zimbabwe: Militant Teachers Group Vows ED Confrontation Over Barren 100 Days

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Ptuz) have vowed to confront President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government for allegedly turning a blind eye to teachers' plight during its much-vaunted first 100 days in office.

In a strongly worded statement co-signed by Ptuz President Takavafira Zhou and secretary general Raymond Majongwe, the independent teachers group accused the new President of attempts to please all except workers.

"As much as many things have happened in schools under ED's 100 days, there has been very limited engagement with teacher unions to shape a credible education system," Ptuz said Monday.

"The issue of conditions of service and motivation of teachers in order to enhance effective teaching have been totally neglected.

"The President has met everybody else except workers and their Leadership."

The militant teachers group accused government of allowing teachers to be beaten up by unknown assailants within school grounds with impunity.

It further accused the current government of continuously prioritising soldiers if it came to who among government workers to be paid their delayed 2017 bonuses first.

This, said the group, saw teachers' salaries paid much later only to be "eroded by inflation as prices are soaring daily".

The group added, "There has been no salary increase and no improvement of conditions of service."

"(Finance) Minister (Patrick) Chinamasa has cut the education budget thereby affecting recruitment of ECD teachers and payment of student teachers.

"We can't understand why Mugabe's irrational decisions are being justified."

Ptuz accused the Mnangagwa led administration of allowing corruption to wreak havoc within the education sector.

Given the obtaining situation, teachers vowed to take the fight to government to ensure their demands were met sooner rather than later.

"The honours is upon union leaders and members to get something they never had by doing something they never did," Ptuz said.

"Teachers cannot stand silent as the profession is targeted for vandalism by uncaring leaders.

"While dialogue is our initial engagement, there comes a time when sharpening instruments of combat is necessary in enhancing dialogue and that time is NOW."

In a Facebook video he posted on the expiry of his first 100 days in office, President Mnangagwa urged patience among locals insisting the task of reversing the current economic ruin required a lengthier time.


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