Zimbabwe’s Teachers’ unions are refusing to budge and have declared that they remain resolute and “unmoved” by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s threats.
The president ominously warned that government could exclude the striking teachers from its payroll.
On Wednesday, President Mnangagwa made the admission that only 30 percent of Zimbabwe’s teachers are reporting for duty. However Teachers’ Unions contend that the figure given by the president is inflated as they claim that less than 10 percent of teachers are going to work.
“Let me assure all of you that the government will never be held to ransom by the teachers. By failing to report for duty, they think they will push us to do what they want. No, we’re very principled on that,” said Mnangagwa
“We will apply the principle that those who work will get paid. Those who are at home are not considered to be at work.” he added
Teachers are demanding salaries at par with US$520 and they have outrightly turned down a 40 percent salary increase offered by Mnangagwa’s administration.
“Threatening to fire a teacher or to seize their salary in Zimbabwe is like threatening to kill a corpse. These threats and accusations will not resolve the ensuing labour dispute. We are not moved,” said the militant Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ).
The strike by teachers may spell doom and chaos for the imminent examinations as unions and teachers fear that learners are unprepared for the examinations.
Learners in rural areas are the hardest hit as they do not have access to electricity, the internet and cannot afford private lessons unlike some of their urban counterparts.