Zimbabwe Teachers Union (ZIMTA) officials have been accused of forcing teachers in Binga and Tsholotsho to bunk lessons and join a strike set to start on February 5.
TheChroniclee reports that the move is politically motivated as suspected MDC officials are using the ZIMTA branded vehicles to intimidatte teachers to heed the call to go on strike.
Tsholotsho Rural District Council chairperson councillor Manger Sobane revealed that ZIMTA is indeed active in the area. He said:
Zimta deployed vehicles and personnel into the district and their mission was to close schools. On Wednesday these officials were forcing our teachers to stop teaching and go home.
What bothered us is we knew that Government was in talks with civil servants regarding their salaries, so we don’t expect these officials to act that way.
However, ZIMTA said that it was not coercing teachers to go on strike, but rather, moving around communicating the organisation’s plans to go on strike next week. ZIMTA chief executive officer Mr Sifiso Ndlovu had this to say:
I do not know of such allegations of our officials forcing teachers out of schools. I believe the visits could have been discussing memos signed by Zimta and PTUZ and passing on the message as discussed that we are going on industrial strike on the 5th of this month.
On Thursday the Zimbabwe Teachers’ union and the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe issued a joint statement announcing their intention to go on strike starting on February 5.