By Brenna Matendere
AMALGAMATED Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) leaders are preparing a lawsuit against government after they have gone for three months without salaries.
The salaries were withheld by the Public Service Commission after the mid-January fuel price hike
Artuz president Obert Masaraure, secretary-general Robson Chere and the union’s Mashonaland West chairperson Munyaradzi Ndawana were arrested for taking part
in the protests in January and consequently did not report for duty since they were in detention.
The PSC went on to stop their salaries on the basis of absenteeism.
Advocate Hopwell Chitima, the Artuz lawyer, confirmed the planned lawsuit.
“I have been briefed by my clients to take legal action against their employer, who has unfairly withheld their salaries. I am just waiting for some backing
documents before filing the court application,” he said.
Masaraure said families of the union’s leaders have hit hard times as a result.
“The families of these teachers are failing to access basic goods such as food, clothes, shelter and transport to work, among others, like healthcare and paying school fees for their children. Actually, when schools open next term, their children will not be able to go there because of financial constraints
deliberately brought by the employer,” he said.
“If a teacher, who is earning a salary, can fail to meet basic living expenses, what about one who is going to work, but not being paid for about three
Masaraure revealed that efforts to engage the employer amicably had failed, hence the move to go to court.
“We have been pursuing dialogue with the employer to resolve the impasse, but nothing is coming out. That is why we have engaged our lawyer to take legal action,” he said.