FULL TEXT: Rural Teachers Declare August 23 “Payday Funeral” Day

The Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has resolved to postpone our Pay Day Funeral from 19 August to 23 August 2019.

This is in the wake of the Zimbabwe regime’s relentless brutal crackdown of innocent men, women and the youth of our beloved motherland – before, during and after the 16 August 2019 demonstrations – whose only ‘crime’ was a peaceful and constitutional desire for prosperity and freedom.

Such a shameful and brazenly callous response by the regime to the genuine cries and aspirations by the suffering masses of Zimbabwe, further exposes the heartless nature of those who are supposed to be our leaders and employers, thereby highlighting the urgent need for us all not to falter in our struggle for a better life, but instead to put on the whole armour of boldness and fearlessness in our quest for a dignified livelihood worthy of any human being.

The PayDay Funeral is just but one of the peaceful and constitutional instruments in our vast toolbox of options that ARTUZ has seen appropriate in urging our employers (the government of Zimbabwe) to finally award the plight of the long-suffering teachers the seriousness it deserves.

It is with shame that we have to resort to pressure our government to consider teachers as an integral part of any vision to develop the living standards of the people of Zimbabwe – as there can never be any knowledge without the teacher, and there can never be any economic prosperity without knowledge. Something that should have seemed obvious to any government with genuine intent on improving the livelihood of the people.

However, we find ourselves having to engage in never-ending struggles for teachers to finally receive recognition and appreciation that they deserve – and we urge all peace-loving progressive and caring Zimbabweans to unite in solidarity on 23 August 2019 as we mourn our meagre salaries, as our government further exposes its wanton disregard for our welfare and the survival of our families – thereby, betraying its general contempt for the people of this country.

Teachers merely demand a living wage in this age of of the ever-escalating cost of living.

A nation without a teacher is a nation without a future!

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