Former ZANU PF Youth Commissar, Godfrey Tsenengamu has rallied parents to stand with teachers who are currently engaged in a labour dispute with the government over demands for better wages.
Posting on Facebook Friday afternoon, Tsenengamu urged parents not to be spectators in the ongoing dispute that had seen the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education minister Evelyn Ndhlovu striking teachers who did not report for duty since the opening day on Monday.
He said parents had a duty to stand up and speak out as the future of their children is at stake.
“When teachers are being persecuted like this, we as parents don’t have to be spectators watching from the terraces as if this crisis affects teachers alone.
“It’s actually we the parents who must stand up and speak out more than teachers in times like these because it’s our children’s future at stake,” said Tsenengamu.
He denounced the government for forcing ‘underpaid and demoralised’ teachers to go back to work while their grievances have not been addressed saying it was tantamount to economic injustice.
“No normal parent even those who support Zanu PF must be happy that underpaid, demoralised and starving teachers have been threatened and forced to go to work.
“,Do you surely want your child to spend the whole term with an unhappy, dejected and starving teacher who is working under duress? This slave labour and economic injustices being practiced by this government must be a concern for all of us,” added Tsenengamu.
Opposition National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) leader Professor Lovemore Madhuku yesterday sided with teachers when Ndhlovu announced their suspension for three months over failure to report for duty.
Madhuku, a top Constitutional expert said the minister did not have powers to suspend teachers as they were employees of the Public Service Commission (PSC).
“Teachers cannot be suspended from work by a Govt Minister: they are employed by the PSC. Even the PSC itself has no power whatsoever to effect a blanket and mass suspension. The purported suspensions are unacceptable. Govt must dialogue with teachers’ unions and address issues,” said Madhuku.
He urged for dialogue between the government and teachers to end the deadlock that threatens to derail learning which has already been disturbed by Covid-19 induced lockdown announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the beginning of the year.
Teachers have refused to return to work despite Government offering them a 20% salary increment among other incentives, they are calling for US dollar pegged salary of $540.