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Zimbabwe Teachers on Vacation Question Govt Recall for Duty

FILE: Teachers say they want to meet government officials to discuss salary deductions. (Photo: ZIMTA)

FILE: Teachers say they want to meet government officials to discuss salary deductions. (Photo: ZIMTA)

Teachers recalled from vacation by the government say they are planning to stage peaceful protests, saying this move is illegal.

They say the disruption of their vacation is forcing them to fork out money from their pockets, something they cannot afford due to non-payment of 2015 bonuses.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe Mashonaland West Provincial Chairperson Rosten Mutapwa told Studio 7 teachers believe that they are being abused by the government and as a result most of them want to go on strike or engage in a go slow to express their dismay over what is going on in the Ministry of Education.

Mutapwa, says the recalling of the teachers is an indication that there is confusion in the ministry as teachers applied and were granted leave last year.

Local teacher, Temba Vuso, who was on vacation, said the government violated labour regulations when it recalled him. Vuso noted that he now needs to spend money in order to go to work.

Vuso said there is confusion in the Education Ministry with Public Service Commission inspectors taking a leading role in enforcing what her termed improper regulations.

He said these inspectors are trying to justify their relevance in an education system that is almost collapsing due to lack of funds and related issues.

Government issued a circular forcing all those on vacation to report for duty on Monday but most teachers failed to turn up for various reasons.

The state has not given reasons of recalling teachers from leave but indications are that there is a serious shortage of staff in some schools.

Director of Education in Mashonaland West province, Sylvester Mashayamomba, said the ministry has instructed school heads to get written reports from teachers on vacation, who failed to report for duty as instructed by the government.

Tensions have been rising between state workers and the government over non-payment of bonuses. The government struggled to pay workers salaries last December due to financial constraints.