Walter Mswazie Masvingo Correspondent
THE MDC-T has come under fire for attempting to scuttle negotiations between the government and civil servants through meddling in teachers’ union activities.
Takavafira Zhou, the president of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said the opposition party has been urging its members to go for unsanctioned demonstrations while falsely claiming to be government employees.
He said the MDC-T must desist from masquerading as a civil servants’ representative in Zimbabwe as that tarnishes the image of professional bodies.
Zhou said through the actions of the ill-advised MDC-T members, genuine teachers’ organisations have earned a bad name which has imperiled “good faith negotiations with the government”.
He said recently, MDC-T activists took to the streets masquerading as civil servants to protest against the government in Harare and were arrested.
The PTUZ president said his organisation or any other teachers’ union do not want to fight the present government as they only stand for the welfare of teachers.
He challenged the opposition party’s leadership to control its members as they were tarnishing the image of professional bodies. “What the MDC-T and other opposition parties should know is that we’re not an appendage of them as teachers’ organisations. It’s against this solid background that they must not meddle in our activities or hijack our job action making it their programme. It’s wrong and this should be heard loud and clear,” said Zhou.
He said they are prepared to name and shame known members MDC-T members who usually stage unsanctioned protests under the guise of representing civil servants when bona fide employees have not even decided to take to the streets.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu refuted the allegations, claiming his party was law abiding and appreciated the independence of labour organisations in Zimbabwe.
He said they will not meddle in labour unions’ activities since they were a product of a labour movement.
“We’re a law abiding and democratic party. We don’t meddle or hijack other organisations’ programme. That’s a lie and the work of secret operatives bent on tarnishing our image. We’re not there to clash with PTUZ, we respect their mandate of representing teachers,” said Gutu
He said their party is opposed to any form of violence and claimed its membership has never joined any unsanctioned demonstrations.