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Under-Staffed Ministry Suspends Striking Teachers

Government has suspended without salaries, striking teachers who failed to turn up for work since the opening of schools on Monday.

In a statement, Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Dr Evelyn Ndlovu said those who did not report for duty will be suspended without pay for three months.

“The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education would like to inform the Nation and its valued stakeholders that all officials within the Ministry who absented themselves from duty since the official opening of schools on 7 February 2022 have been suspended without pay forthwith, for a period of three months.

“During this period of suspension, members are not to hinder or interfere with any investigation or evidence relating to the alleged misconduct. Appropriate action will be taken against members who abrogate their duties and responsibilities. The Ministry remains committed to the provision of quality, affordable, accessible, relevant, equitable, inclusive and wholesome education for all Zimbabweans,” said Ndlovu.

Responding to the government move, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) Secretary General Raymond Majongwe said they were not moved by government’s unilateral decisions.

“We have nothing to say, let the Government do what it wants. We will respond when the appropriate time comes but they will have to tell us the laws that they are using,”  said Majongwe.

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“Workers employed by the Government cannot be suspended by a kangaroo process,” he added.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said the decision is a disregard to the country’s education system.

“These Government officials have displayed a complete disregard of the education system of Zimbabwe, why? because their own sons and daughters do not learn in those schools. As the educators in public schools  we are saying these Government officials are automatically suspended from making decisions for our public education system.

“They are alien to our needs and to the contextual reality of our schools. Their sons and daughters are not in our schools such that when they make decisions they are detached from what learners in Chitungwiza, Dotito and Lupane are experiencing,” said Masaraure

Various teacher unions across the country have declared incapacitation owing to poor salaries that have been eroded by inflation.

In response, government announced a raft of measures including a 20 percent salary increment, US$100 converted from their local currency salaries and duty free importation of vehicles among others.

However, defiant teachers have scoffed at the measures saying it falls short of the US$540 they are demanding to improve their welfare.

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