WASHINGTON DC —
The Ministry of Education has written to the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) notifying it that it is no longer allowed to visit schools.
The letter dated June 18th, 2014, and signed by education minisrty permanent secretary, Constance Chigwamba, stresses that the ministry reached that decision after noticing that the union has deviated from the authorised activity of distributing its paraphernalia.
Chigwamba noted that instead, the PTUZ is now conducting meetings at schools for “other ulterior motives and also disrupting the teaching and learning process”.
But PTUZ secretary general Raymond Majongwe said they are surprised by this decision since they are a law abiding trade union.
“We are a bonafide trade union and law abiding, as provided for by Statutory Instrument 45 of 1998 Section 6 (2)(b). We are duly authorized to visit our members during working hours,” Majongwe said.
“We are going to meet with Education Minister Lazarus Dokora on Sunday to discuss that letter. He called me to requesting that meeting,” he added.
Meanwhile, the government has re-introduced the hardship allowance that it scrapped in 2009 when it introduced dolarisation.
Rural teachers are now getting a five percent allowance of their basic salaries, instead of the 15% their unions were demanding.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association president and Apex Council chairman, Richard Gundani, told Ntungamili Nkomo that while they welcome the development, they hope the government will soon review the percentage upwards.
“When it is translated to figures that 5% becomes something very small. It is a very small figure if we are talking about $15.00, $20.00, these are very small figures. Government still has a lot of work to do around that. We still have a lot too as Apex Council around that,” Gundani said.