Lecturers embark on sit-in

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College lecturers around the country have engaged in a sit-in meant to pressure government for salary increments.

The sit-in comes at a time students around colleges in the country are preparing to sit for final examinations and is set to paralyse the education sector that was on the mend following a decade-long recession.

The College Lecturers’ Association of Zimbabwe (Colaz) on Friday said the sit-in was a make-or-break affair and described the situation as abnormal that demanded abnormal solutions.

Colaz president David Dzatsunga said lecturers were hard-pressed and failing to cope, hence the industrial action.

The least paid college lecturer is getting $220 a month against the poverty datum line pegged at $500 a month.

“Our sit-in has just begun in earnest. This comrades is a make-or-break affair,” said Colaz on Thursday.

“Abnormal situations demand abnormal solutions. We have borne the brunt of hunger and humiliation. We have been used and abused, demeaned and trivialised, while our counterparts in State universities earn an average of $1 700. It is amoral that the Government of Zimbabwe should allow this abnormality to prevail. We do not begrudge university lecturers at all, but that we should earn far less than the general hands employed there speaks volumes of the kind of respect the government accords us.”

Information obtained by NewsDay indicates that colleges in Bulawayo, Harare, and Masvingo were grounded while in other areas, more than 75% of lecturers had adhered to calls for a sit-in.

“This is really a national move. This is a crucial time because it’s examinations time and lecturers are very angry because of the treatment we are getting from government so we want to make them act and address our plight,” Dzatsunga said.