Workers have accused the Government of failing to fulfil numerous promises it has made over the years on improved wages and conditions of service.
On Sunday, 1 May, the country commemorated the International Workers Day, which is celebrated globally on 1 May.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) held the main Workers Day celebrations at Chemhanza Stadium in Dzivarasekwa, Harare, where Public Service and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima was the guest of honour.
Speaking in an interview with NewsDay on Monday, 2 May, ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo said that workers are now tired of empty promises. Moyo said:
They only speak without taking action. They promised free education, free healthcare, and free electricity, but those promises have not been fulfilled.
Trade unionists have been criminalised and whenever workers try to demonstrate, they are arrested.
Workers are not politicians, but they will be demonstrating for their tummies.
We are happy that Mavima graced our celebrations because previously, the government would send junior officials.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Obert Masaraure also bemoaned the Government’s broken promises. Sad Masaraure:
As teachers, we have never been treated well by the government, which has never fulfilled its promises.
We are now going into the second term and our children are being chased away from school despite government promises to pay fees for them.
We have written twice to the government over the payment of school fees for teachers’ children, but they (authorities) have responded by saying they are on it.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou said that last term the Government failed to release the $20 000 for school fees for teachers’ children. He said:
The issue of assistance for three children of a teacher with school fees amounting to $20 000 each per term is long overdue as we are entering the second term without any fruition.
The earlier government deposits the money, which has now accumulated to $40 000 per child (for two terms), into teachers’ accounts the better.
Schools open on Tuesday, 2 May for the second term but teachers are demanding to be paid the pre-October 2018 salary of US$540 per month.