Members of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) who were arrested in Harare on 12 January this year while protesting low salaries and poor working conditions have vowed to continue to demand fair wages.
The 16 ARTUZ members were charged with participating in a gathering with the intention to promote public violence, bigotry and breaches of peace as defined in Section 37(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
ARTUZ president Obert Masaraure, who was among the arrested, said they will not tire until the Government restores their US$540 pre-October 2018 salaries. Said Masaraure:
The State only arrested our bodies, but our minds were free.
The salary situation of civil servants is just the same. We are fighting for those who arrested us, for those who are persecuting us and those who kept us here.
The teachers spent the whole weekend caged at the notorious remand prison, which ended up having a sewer burst on Saturday night, within the D class section, forcing officers to transfer dangerous criminals to Harare Central Prison.
15 of the 16 of the teachers were on Monday granted $5 000 bail each while one of the protestors was granted free bail.