THE continued victimisation and persecution of Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) members nationwide has for the past few months been increasing and it seems the action is a well co-ordinated to derail the realisation of a liberated education sector.
Four of our members — Chanda Godfrey (Chirumhanzu), Praise Ngirazi (Victoria Falls), Bridget Dhliwayo (Victoria Falls) and Joseph Moyo (Bulawayo) have been condemned to disciplinary hearings on trumped up charges.
It is a very unfortunate that the State has chosen to go after these members in a fashion reminiscent of the colonial era.
This attack on our members is an attack on the entire union. The teaching and trade unionism has been criminalised. It is very regrettable that the government sees every problem as a nail that requires a hammer to be solved.
In modern-day labour relations, this is illegal and out of touch with reality.
From its formation, Artuz members have faced threats and victimisation with a number of them being subjected to kangaroo hearings.
We call upon the government to stop forthwith these kind of unwarranted attacks on peace-loving and patriotic teachers whose only crime is to speak out against injustice and point out the reality of incapacitation and the glaring shortcomings in the education sector.
Artuz remains committed to fighting for justice, transparency and accountability and demands the government to focus on improving teacher welfare and revitalising a crippled and comatose education sector. To the rest of our membership, we urge them not to be deterred by such machinations.
Our mandate and duty remains the same which is to uphold the standards of education, advocate for better working conditions and favourable labour practices that are in line with modern standards and legal framework.
Teachers remain incapacitated and further antagonising them is just not only wrong, but a contravention of labour rights.