Zimbabwe School Examination Council (ZIMSEC) markers on Wednesday went on a strike demanding transport and subsistence allowances which are yet to be fully paid, two weeks after commencing duty.
The markers were marking 2020 “O” and “A” Level scripts but stopped after ZIMSEC only deposited between $7 000 and $9 000 into their accounts instead of $21 000.
A marker who spoke on condition of anonymity to NewsDay said some markers were given all their dues but those from Harare and Bulawayo provinces are still to be paid in full. The marker said:
We started work on March 6 and Zimsec advised us that our allowances would be deposited after two days.
However, that did not happen. We waited until the weekend, but the allowances hadn’t been sent.
All this time, we were using our own money for food, transport and accommodation as some of us come from outside Harare.
Some regions got their full allowances amounting to between $16 000 and $21 000 depending on where one was coming from.
Only two regions, Harare and Bulawayo, out of the five regions are affected.
In Harare, the examiners staged a mini-demonstration at Mt Pleasant High School where they were camped.
In Bulawayo, examiners stationed at Hillside Teachers College, Bulawayo Polytechnic, Townsend High School and United College of Education also protested in the afternoon.
ZIMSEC spokesperson Nicholette Dhlamini confirmed that some of the examiners got part payment. She said:
It’s true that Harare and Bulawayo got their part payment today, according to what they claimed, and their second batch will be coming through.
They can’t get the same amounts since they come from different regions. Others come from Masvingo, Bulawayo and so on and so it should be clear that these are not marking allowances because marking fees are paid after marking the exams.