Executive members of the Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (RTUZ) Monday started a 10-day 200-kilometre march from Mutawatawa in Maramba-Pfungwe, Mashonaland East province, to Harare demanding a host of changes.
Some of the 10 demands include an upward review of teachers' 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, who are supposed to hand over a petition to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the Public Service Commission, delayed kicking off their march as they were interrogated by state security agents for engaging in this march when they tried to hand over a petition to local education officials.
According to RTUZ president Obert Masaraure, the state security agents threatened to take drastic action against them, saying it was taboo to stage the protest in a Zanu PF stronghold.
“This (the threats) is not going to affect us in any way. Otherwise they only highlighted one of our demands that any form of violence against teachers must stop. We are now more resolute than ever,” Masaraure said.
Studio 7 was unable to get a comment from the police and education officials.
Masaraure said that the 15-member executive team was joined by over 30 local villagers and school children.