BY TATENDA CHITAGU
A MASVINGO magistrate yesterday jailed a teacher’s union leader for 16 months over a peaceful salary protest which was held in July this year.
Sheila Chisirimhuru, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz)’s Masvingo provincial gender and welfare secretary, had six months of her sentence suspended on Tuesday by magistrate Mbonisi Ndlovu.
She will effectively serve 10 months.
Her co-accused, Artuz president Obert Masaraure was, however, acquitted.
They were being charged with violating section 37 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (chapter 9:23) for participating in a gathering with the intent to cause public violence, breach peace or bigotry.
Chisirimhuru (53), who is also a lawyer, has appealed both her conviction and sentence. She also applied for bail pending appeal at the High Court.
Her lawyer Martin Mureri said the magistrate erred in that the demonstration was peaceful, and was allowed in terms of the Constitution.
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He said magistrate Ndlovu handed a harsh sentence without considering other options like a fine or community service. Teachers are demanding a US$520 salary or equivalent per month.
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