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Teachers defy union

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The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) has been torn by division over the strike action proposed by other teachers and lecturers’ organisations.

On Friday teachers affiliated to the association circulated a letter expressing disgruntlement over its leadership’s reluctance to join the strike.

Zimta has been left in the cold after one teachers’ organisation and college lecturers that make part of the Apex Council said they had joined the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) as the strike that started on a low note last week looks set to go full blown this week.

Lecturers said they had joined the fight for better salaries and castigated Zimta for disowning the struggle of teachers and lecturers.The College Lecturers’ Association of Zimbabwe (Colaz) and the Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (TUZ) are the latest organisations to join the PTUZ in the job action.

“As part of the Apex Council, we want to join the PTUZ in pressing for better wages above the poverty datum line (PDL) and we will be starting our industrial action tomorrow (today),” said Colaz president David Dzatsunga.

Dzatsunga said as lecturers they had been silent for a long time and had decided it was time to fight for their betterment.

“We have no wish to be sucked into tired debate about where the money should come from — be it diamonds, platinum, gold, tollgates or ghost workers. We demand a fair wage now,” said Colaz in a statement on Friday.

TUZ chief executive officer Manuel Nyawo said his union had lobbied for strike action since last year.

“Actually PTUZ has joined our longstanding stance to demonstrate for our rights as teachers and we stand united with our sister unions to influence a change to our salaries,” said Nyawo.

On Friday, a group of teachers claiming to be Zimta members said they were fed up with chairperson Tendai Chikowore’s conduct saying she must step aside and let them join the strike.Chikowore refused to comment on the matter saying she was not aware of any of her members wanting her out.

But teachers affiliated to Zimta yesterday said they would join their colleagues starting today.The latest development looks set to paralyse the education system in the country as most students are preparing for final examinations.

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