by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWEAN police have arrested nine teachers union leaders amid a crackdown by authorities to discourage educators from embarking on a strike.
The officials of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), who have since been released, had been arrested in the capital Harare as they embarked on a demonstration protesting against poor remuneration and working conditions.
They were apprehended while planning a march to the offices of besieged Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube, where they
intended to camp until government paid their salaries in foreign currency and paid their outstanding annual bonus.
Teachers are also demanding the provision of adequate learning material at schools, scrapping of tax on electronic transactions and a review of their
salaries, among other demands.
Strikes by teachers halted the reopening of schools yesterday (Tuesday).
It is the latest in a series of strikes by civil servants against the cash-strapped government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Doctors have been on strike for weeks, paralysing the plagued health sector.
Talks held by government and union leaders from the education and health sectors on Monday failed to yield a breakthrough.
“We do not expect a smooth flow in the teaching profession,” said Tapson Sibanda, Zimbabwe Teachers Association secretary-general.
July Moyo, Public Service Minister, said government would disclose its offers to civil servants this week, based on its commitment to addressing issues such as housing, salaries and allowances.
– CAJ News