Saturday, 13 August 2016


As pro-democracy groups and ordinary citizens ramp up pressure on President Robert Mugabe to right the stuttering economy, rural-based teachers have announced they will hold a staggering 200km march next week to register their displeasure with the nonagenarian’s failed 36-year leadership.

The 10-day march — organised by the Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (RTUZ) — will start on Monday from Maramba Pfungwe in Murewa to Harare.

This comes as radical pressure group — Tajamuka/Sesjikile - spreads its wings into the rural areas which have been traditionally the heartland of both Mugabe and Zanu PF.
Mugabe is facing rising public anger over his policies which critics say are responsible for causing the suffering by ordinary citizens.

RTUZ said the teachers will also protest against poor salaries and government failure to improve rural education facilities.

“We call upon all teachers and parents based in the areas to join us and march for the betterment of rural education,” the union said.
The RTUZ is also demanding a monthly pay adjustment of between $700 and $800, a 100 percent increase of teachers’ rural allowances as well as restoration of maternity leave for those on probation.

Over and above that, the union also demands infrastructural development in rural schools and communities as well as an end to all forms of violence against rural teachers and dissolution of the government if its demands are not met.

RTUZ president, Obert Masaraure, also told the Daily News that the organisation will petition the ministry of Education over their demands.

This comes as anti-Mugabe protestors, Tajamuka/Sesjikile; last week said they are spreading their campaign against the 92-year-old leader’s misrule to the rural areas.
The pressure group’s spokesperson, Promise Mkwananzi, told the Daily News that they were now targeting the rural constituencies after satisfaction that urban Zimbabweans were now on board.

“We are done with mobilising the urban constituencies ...we are, through our affiliate organisations, targeting our rural counterparts so that we will confront government with one voice,” he said.

The rural constituencies have been the fulcrum of Mugabe’s 36-year-old reign, with opposition parties finding it difficult to make headway in the areas.
Mugabe, in power since independence, is facing the biggest challenge to his long and uninterrupted rule.

His government is struggling to pay civil servants on time as the economy continues to die leading to reduced revenues which have been hit by company closures and job losses.
Last month, civil servants went on strike over delayed salaries while thousands of workers stayed away from work as they heeded a call to stage a general strike by clergyman Evan Mawarire and Tajamuka/Sesjikile.

Mugabe is blaming sanctions and western governments for the current wave of protests. daily news


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