SEVERAL organisations – including vendors, Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (RTUZ), Zimbabwe Activists Alliance (ZAA) and students’ unions – have threatened mass protests in Harare today to register their displeasure at “Zanu PF misgovernance” and civil servants’ delayed December salaries.
BY MOSES MATENGA
The organisers said they would march from Market Square and petition Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira over non-payment of civil servants’ salaries and bonuses, among other grievances.
This comes shortly after the government pleaded with civil servants to stop their planned demonstrations over late salaries and assured them their wages will be paid tomorrow.
RTUZ leader, Obert Masaraure told NewsDay yesterday that they were going ahead with their demonstrations despite the government’s directive to shelve the protests.
“We have notified the police, who acknowledged receipt of the letter satisfying the law requirement of notifying the police. Other teachers’ unions like the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) and Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) have been invited to join in the march. The objectives of the demonstrations are to express our displeasure at the failure of the government to pay salaries and bonuses of civil servants and demand immediate payment of salaries and bonus,” he said.
However, Zimta president, Richard Gundani said: “I am not aware of that, we have not been told. Why do they mention others who are not part of them? If we organise something we will tell you in time. At the moment we are waiting for resolutions from different parts.”
PTUZ secretary-general, Raymond Majongwe and national police spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi were unreachable for comment.
But Masaraure said: “This is the beginning of a broader and sustained campaign for dignity of workers throughout 2016. We have many unions who will come to join as we fight for the workers’ dignity.”
Zimbabwe Informal Sector Organisation director, Promise Mkwananzi said his members would demonstrate in solidarity with “the poorly paid civil servants”.
ZAA co-ordinator Lynnette Tendai Mudehwe said: “The demonstration will mark the launch of a sustained campaign for restoration of dignity in work. All civil servants, workers, vendors, students and ordinary Zimbabweans are urged to participate in this legal demonstration.”
Late last year, MDC-T youths vowed to embark on a series of demonstrations this year to force the Zanu PF government to address the deteriorating socio-economic situation in the country.