TEACHER’S Unions yesterday said they will not be hoodwinked by false promises from politicians seeking their support ahead of the forthcoming make-or-break elections later this year.
REPORT BY VENERANDA LANGA
They said the new government would be given 100 days to address civil servants’ grievances or the “country will be ungovernable” due to strikes.
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary-general Raymond Majongwe told NewsDay that promises of increases in civil servants’ salaries towards elections was an old overused trick which will not get any politician their votes as past assurances were never fulfilled.
Majongwe said all parties in the Government of National Unity (GNU) had the chance during their five-year tenure to show their attitude towards the plight of civil servants and workers, but were all guilty of neglect.
“We have heard President Robert Mugabe and the MDCs promising salary hikes for civil servants towards elections, but our response this time around is that we have heard that before and we know those are mere political pronouncements to garner our votes, and we are going to punish those who ignored our plea to do justice to the welfare of civil servants” Majongwe said.
“Civil servants have gone for two years without salary increments when we know diamonds are looted by selfish people in government living in opulence and unparalleled extravagance in terms of expenditure.”
Majongwe said the GNU can, however, not be branded a total failure in terms of responsibility towards civil servants as the open victimisation and brutality of teachers had stopped after 2009, as well as successful restocking of school textbooks.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) led by Lovemore Matombo said the union expected the new government to urgently address their concerns.
Matombo said his ZCTU faction had anticipated good things after the formation of the GNU in 2009 as they thought workers would get a poverty datum line salary.
“We are not going to buy politician’s statements during the campaigns. Whatever government comes into power will be given 100 days after elections to increase wages to poverty datum line-related ones and failure to do that will result in the country becoming ungovernable through strike action,” he said.