Zimbabwe: Artuz Protestors Granted Bail

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union Of Zimbabwe Members at Finance Ministry offices (file photo).

Members of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) who were arrested on Friday were on Saturday granted bail by a Harare Magistrate after spending a night in police holding cells.

The unionists, who included human rights lawyer Douglas Coltart who says he was mistaken for a protester and beaten was among those who were granted $50 bail each with conditions attached.

ARTUZ organised the picketing in protests against poor salaries.

Government is in negotiations with the Apex Council the body that represents all civil servants and last week offered a 76% salary increase that would take the lowest paid government worker to just over $1000 a month far below what is being demanded.

Civil servants want the lowest paid worker to get the equivalence of US$475 monthly salary.

Police reportedly wanted the accused to pay $20 fine for criminal nuisance but Magistrate Nyasha Vhitorini ruled that the suspects will appear in court on October 1, 2019.

Police on Friday morning arrested nine ARTUZ members including its president Obert Masaraure as well as NewZimbabwe.com reporter Leopold Munhende who was later released without charge.

The teachers were dressed in black as they said were "mourning the deaths of their salaries" which they argue has been eroded by inflation.

The Apex Council in a statement Friday said it would consult its members on the offer by government. Reports however indicated government has adopted a take-it-or-leave it stance regarding the negotiations.

A meeting of the National Joint Negotiating Forum at which government representatives meet workers is likely to decide matters.

Teachers have threatened to withdraw labour before the opening of the third term which could jeophardise examination classes.

There have been media reports that government is mulling roping in the army as invigilators.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: New Zimbabwe

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.