By Staff Writer
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has deployed soldiers to schools in the Manicaland province on a verification mission to weed out those who heeded the call to strike when schools opened early this year, Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has said.
Speaking to The Humanitarian Post Friday ARTUZ president Orbert Masaraure confirmed the development and decried the pace at which labour rights are deteriorating in the country.
“We got a tipoff from one of our members in the Frisk area of Mutare that the armed forces had descended on their school on a fact finding mission to know members who were on strike at the beginning of the school term.
“The situation has triggered panic among the teachers who can no longer tell what lies ahead of their security situation.
“So first and foremost , I would like to condemn the actions and remind the security forces that they are not a part and parcel of the Collective Bargaining negotiations. Government must urgently respect section 65 of the constitution which guarantees the right to freedom of association,” he said.
The vibrant union has topped teacher representative issues lately in the face of rising fear in the fight for labour rights where traditional workers mouthpieces have adopted a lukewarm approach at a time when salaries have been eroded due to inflationary pressures.
Labour rights advocacy in Zimbabwe is fast becoming a mammoth task widely perceived by authorities as an attempt to topple the government of the day.
Earlier ARTUZ had taken it to twitter where they denounced the actions:
“A new low by @edmnangagwa gvt.Soldiers have been deployed in schools in the Frisk area in Mutare. The soldiers are addressing trs demanding to know the trs who were not reporting for duty and their Unions.The soldiers are threatening and harassing trs disrupting learning” they said in a posting.
The developments unfold shortly after the United States and the European Union renewed sanctions against Zimbabwe arguing the human rights situation continues to deteriorate.