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Zimbabwe Teachers Strike Enters Third Day Amid Allegations of Intimidation

A national strike by members of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe entered its third day Wednesday as union organizers reported intimidation and harassment of teachers by suspected agents of the Central Intelligence Organization.

Suspected state security agents and education officers were said to be paying visits to schools in Harare, Masvingo and Bulawayo and threatening teachers with unspecified action if they continued the work stoppage that began on Monday.

Union sources said Masvingo PTUZ Chairman Munyaradzi Chauke was picked up by police for questioning on Tuesday while plainclothes officers looking for union General Secretary Raymond Majongwe went to his home Tuesday night. Police also visited the union's offices in Harare in search of Majongwe, labor sources said.

Officials of the rival Zimbabwe Teachers Association were also said to have been in schools urging their members to ignore the PTUZ strike. ZIMTA President Tendai Chikowore said his organization has faith in ongoing talks with the government.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe President Takavafira Zhou told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that threats and intimidation against PTUZ members and officials will not dampen the enthusiasm of strikers.

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