WASHINGTON D.C. —
Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (RTUZ) executive members, who have embarked on a 10 day 200 kilometre march from Mutawatawa to Harare, claimed Tuesday that their overnight camp at Mashambanhaka Primary School was raided by state security agents.
In a statement, they claimed that the 15-member executive was forced to move to Nhakiwa Shopping Centre, about 10 kilometres from Mashambanhaka Primary School where the agents followed and surrounded them, this time in the company of seven suspected Zanu PF youths.
The statement said one of the agents, who identified himself as based at Mutawatawa, had on Monday interrogated and threatened them with death some of the members who had delivered a petition at the district education offices.
The state security agents questioned RTUZ president Obert Masaraure and the union’s programmes officer, Pride Mkono, on the motives of the march.
“We are not sure what they will do but we remain on high alert as the situation is very tense,” Masaraure told Studio 7.
RTUZ spokesperson Robson Ruhanya said they also encountered threats from suspected Zanu PF youths at Nyagande Primary School where they camped for night on Monday.
Ruhanya said they covered more than 20 kilometres on Tuesday after walking for at least 15 kilometres Monday.
The teachers are demanding an upward review of their salaries and rural allowances, full maternity leave for teachers and an end to all forms of violence against rural teachers. They are also demanding that the government should tackle the current cash crisis gripping Zimbabwe, among many other issues.
The teachers are expected to hand over petitions to district education offices at Murehwa, Goromonzi and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary education and the Public Service Commission offices in Harare.