Go hang, teachers tell minister

TEACHERS have blasted government and told Primary and Secondary Education minister Paul Mavima to go hang and stop intimidating them through threats as the strike action which they are planning to hold as soon as schools open on May 8 is their constitutional right.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) yesterday called Mavima to order after he threatened them, saying that the government will not watch the education sector “deteriorate into chaos”.

Zimta had no kind words for Mavima, saying that he had no mandate to address them as workers as they were not employed by the Primary and Secondary Education ministry.
The statement by Zimta supports statements made earlier by teachers’ unions such as the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe led by Raymond Majongwe, and the Federation of Zimbabwe Educators’ Union led by Emmanuel Nyawo, who also told the minister to go hang.

“The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association, hereby, categorically states that no amount of threats or illegal declarations from individuals in government will stop or intimidate teachers from exercising their Constitutional and legal right to participate in industrial action,” Zimta said in a statement.

“For the avoidance of doubt, members must not be intimidated or threatened by service ministers such as Mavima, whose ministry has been on record as not having the mandate to address workers’ conditions of service because they are not the employer,” they said.

But, teachers said Mavima must also abide by the same Constitution which gives the workers the right to withdraw their labour, wherever and whenever working conditions were unsatisfactory. They said their decision to embark on industrial action should not be viewed as a political ploy to dislodge the government.

“Threats and allegations that link collective job action to political parties are just unfortunate and meant to strangle and suppress workers’ rights in a democratic country such as Zimbabwe. Zimta wishes to remind Mavima that unions in education exist for the sole mandate of representing the welfare of members and are in no way; a rival to political parties or to him as a head of a service ministry, and can he be guided accordingly,” they said.

In an interview with NewsDay, Zimta president Richard Gundani said the strike action by the teachers was not politically-motivated.

“The impending teachers’ strike is not at all politically-motivated, and we stand for ourselves as teachers and not for any political party. Government should stop threatening us because we are not political, we are an organisation which was formed in 1942 and we are not organised by any political party,” he said.

He said teachers were only worried about issues to do with their rights and welfare. He also demanded that schools should be de-politicised.

“It is important that schools are de-politicised so that our learners are not disturbed, and that the learning environment is conducive. School children should be protected and not be used by anyone,” he said.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe national president Obert Masaraure said rural teachers and school children were the worst affected during elections.

10 Comments

  1. Can we now expect the economically ignorant general Chiwenga to fire teachers as well?

    1. GET RID OF MUGABE CONSTITUTION

  2. i can bet the government will have the last laugh on this one second time around

  3. IT ALL EVOLVES ABOUT WHOSE CONSTITUTION YOU FOLLOW

  4. But teachers might lose their jobs;many are looking on the window,trained or otherwise

  5. Be fully informed the Government will not hesitate to deal with all these idiots who want to plan for this intended job action, If Chiwenga removed Mugabe you think he cant repeat it on you, GO Hang Teachers very very soon you will selling vegetables in the streets mind you there are many trained Teachers anxiously waiting for that opportunity zviitei muone kumama kwamuri kuda kuita

  6. ZCTU and ZIMTA should stop trying to hold the government hostage just to further the MDC-T agenda. Teachers should refuse to be used just to promote a political party. It will take time to correct this economy and if Chamisa were to be at the helm after the elections most people’s welfare will not change much in one year.ZCTU is only trying to destabilize the country so as to give MDC-T political advantage and any striking teachers should be let go based on a ready supply of teachers.
    Teachers refuse to be used in an environment where we have 90% unemployment for you will surely be replaced.

  7. IWE HONDO..SINCE WHEN HAS BREAD AND BUTTER ISSUES BECOME AN ADVANCEMENT OF BREAD AND BUTTER ISSUES? NO WONDER ACIE LUMUMBA CALLED YOU ZANOIDS MAPENZI MUNOGONA KUVHOTERA CHERO MBUDZI CHAIYO

    1. Mukwirivindi WaMazungunye

      Hondo is very reasonable. The wise teachers will report for work rather than lose the little they are getting. $450 per month is not little. How many people out there will not want to het $450 per month. Please lets stop fooling ourselves by believing that there is a huge pile of money somewhere but guv does not want to give the money out to people or teachers. But a strike will force gvt to distribute the idle money to the teachers. Mugabe and his wife destroyed the country whilst you were all shouting “VaMugabe chete”. Why were you not embarking on strike action then. Because you knew Mugabe can kill. But now the soft Ed comes ain and you want to b troublesome. Take care

  8. Mukwirivindi WaMazungunye

    I absolutely agree with Hondo. The teachers’ leadership is very irresponsible. There are thousands of qualified teachers and graduate teachers roaming the streets. They are just waiting for the teachers to be fired and their places advertised. If nurses aborted their ill-thought strike action, what about you teachers whose job is not a life threatening service. You will lose your jobs. I urge teachers not to listen. They must know that they will lose the little they are getting. Many unempolyed teachers out there can do with the so called little you are getting. In any case, where do you think the gvt can suddenly get the money you want to be paid. We hope you will make a wise decision.

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