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Zimbabwe Teachers Slowing Pace Of Work As Prelude To Strike

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said Wednesday that teachers across the country had launched a go-slow action over poor pay and working conditions, and that it had received reports of intimidation of those taking part in the slowdown.

The PTUZ said suspected state security agents were trying to intimidate teachers and in some cases had threatened them for taking part in the work action.

The union announced Monday that it will launch a full-fledged strike starting on Feb. 5 if the government has not addressed its members demands by then. Harare made no response to an earlier notice of the union’s intention to call a strike.

The union is demanding an entry salary of Z$400,000 (US$80) a month this quarter, with $$100,000 a month for transport and Z$150,000 for housing. Teachers also want their own children to attend school free as children of liberation war veterans do.

PTUZ Information Secretary Harrison Mudzuri told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that teachers are ready for whatever may happen.

Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association Acting Chief Executive Officer Martin Mmukanyi said his union has not joined the slowdown, and rejected charges that officials of his union have been visiting schools to threaten teachers who have joined the action.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...