Zimbabwe teachers strike patchy as reprisals feared
SEE ALSO :CAF: Gor Mahia pray for perfect startIn a classroom at a primary school in Harare’s Mbare township, a Reuters photographer saw one teacher eating from her lunch box in the morning while pupils sat quietly. She and the headmistress declined to be interviewed. “Stay home, be safe. Don’t be intimidated by police and CIOs (Central Intelligence Organisation),” the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), the biggest teachers’ union, said in a circular to members. Zimbabwe has more than 100,000 public sector teachers. The Bulawayo-based online news site, Centre for Innovation and Technology, said teachers at several schools in the country’s second biggest city did not turn up for work and parents had to collect their children.
SEE ALSO :G4S guards down tools over pay“Some teachers are in class but there is no meaningful teaching going on,” ZIMTA president Richard Gundane told Reuters. Government workers are demanding wage rises and payments in U.S. dollars to cope with soaring inflation and an economic crisis that has sapped supplies of fuel and medicines. Many Zimbabweans, who have seen purchasing power eroded despite adopting the dollar in 2009, say Mnangagwa has not delivered on pre-election pledges to kick-start growth after the exit of Robert Mugabe in 2017. Despite their demands for better pay, other public workers declined to join teachers on strike because they are fearful of the volatile security situation and want to continue negotiations with the government. Economic hardships have seen the government allowing nurses to work just three days a week because they do not have enough money for bus fares, the nurses union said on Tuesday.