Another Harare demo hangs in the balance

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Teachers dig-in on strike
Artuz leader Obert Masaraure

THE ZIMBABWE Republic Police (ZRP) is set to ban Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ)’s planned salary protests scheduled for Friday protests as tensions between the government and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) continue to escalate.

Artuz President Obert Masarure said although police had acknowledged that Trade Unions were not guided by the Public Order and Security (POSA) Act, cited that Harare was not safe after the August 16 protest.

“A proxy of the regulatory authority met us and noted that Trade unions are exempted from POSA but the city was not after the 16 August protest,” said Masarure.

He further said the police advised them that “Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube was not in office therefore we should reschedule our protest.”

The protest is targeted at the Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube for not allocating teachers decent salaries that match with the rapid increase in prices of basic commodities.

Speaking to this publication Masarure said the Union will not back down on their demand for decent salaries as the teachers are no longer capacitated to carry out their duties.

“We want restoration of the value of our salaries, our old salaries paid using the interbank rate and teachers from all unions are agreeing with our Pay Day Funeral and  will be joining us”

 Asked why he thought the police would grant their protest whilst in less than a week they had banned the MDC from carrying out a peaceful march, Masarure said:

“Our demo is outside the purview of police control as we are not going to be marching around the city because this is a funeral ceremony so no one runs or destroys property.”

Teachers all over the country have been demanding salaries in United States Dollars or equivalent rate since last year October.

Last month government gave all civil servants a hardship allowance of ZWL$400 to cushion them from the current hyperinflation.

Trade Unions argue the allowance was not enough and not backed by any law.

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