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Zimbabwe Police Seek Leader Of Teachers Union For Questioning

Agents from the law and order section of the Zimbabwe Republic Police showed up in the early hours Thursday at the home of the head of the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe, whose members have initiated a slowdown preparatory to striking.

PTUZ General Secretary Raymond Majongwe, who was not home at the time, said the agents questioned his family as to his whereabouts and left a message ordering him to report to Harare Central Police Station by eight o’clock that same morning.

Police refused to say why they wanted to question Majongwe when two attorneys from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights made inquiries at the police station.

Elsewhere, security agents in Masvingo questioned PTUZ President Takavafira Zhou after he addressed a public meeting on the so-called “harmonization” of elections - the ruling ZANU-PF party's plan to postpone the 2008 presidential election until 2010 on the premise that it would be economical to hold it with general elections then.

The agents said Zhou denigrated President Robert Mugabe in his presentation.

Majongwe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that his union considers the two incidents to be attempts at intimidation in response to the go-slow which the union’s members have initiated nationwide, and the strike which has been called for Monday if the government fails to address union grievances.

Separately, Acting Chief Executive Officer Martin Mukanyi of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association, considered to be pro-government, said authorities have said they are ready to meet with his union as early as Monday to discuss its demands.

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