Rural teachers turn to JOC over abuses

BY BRENNA MATENDERE

AMALGAMATED Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) has resolved to engage the Joint Operations Command (JOC) to seek protection of its members in remote areas, who are allegedly facing harassment and intimidation from suspected State security agents.

The resolution was made at the union’s congress, which ended on Friday in Gweru.

Part of the resolution reads: “Union will engage the Joint Operations Command (JOC) to lobby them to stop the victimisation of teachers. Artuz will run its Safe Schools Campaign with special focus on litigation and advocacy. Teachers to actively work as human rights defenders, defending their labour rights and the right to education for the learners.”

Artuz president Obert Masaraure yesterday told NewsDy that their leadership would meet JOC at national level.

“We will meet them at national level to explain our ideological stand point and what we seek to achieve. Our security sector is constituted by civil servants like ourselves. We are confident that if we engage we can find common ground,” he said.

“Our politicians are notorious for turning workers against each other. That must end. Our State security should protect the broader interests of the State, not private interests of individual politicians.”

Artuz last year reported that its members in rural areas were facing intimidation from suspected State security agents after they had declared incapacitation and stopped reporting for duty.

The union also resolved that its members would not report for work when schools open tomorrow citing incapacitation.

Meanwhile, Masaraure was given a fresh mandate as the Artuz president after being elected uncontested.

The same happened to the union’s secretary-general, Robson Chere.

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