Esinathy Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter
ZIMBABWE Teachers Union (Zimta) officials are allegedly forcing teachers in Binga and Tsholotsho to stop teaching and close the schools, a move alleged to be politically motivated.
The officials who are suspected to be MDC Alliance supporters were moving in Zimta branded vehicles earlier this week telling teachers to down tools as they were incapacitated.
The move comes after civil servants on Wednesday put their intention to go on strike on hold after it emerged that the $300 million offered by Government will see the workers getting an increment of between $107 and $122.
The offer is to be shared by civil servants between April and December.
Tsholotsho Rural District Council chairperson councillor Manger Sobane confirmed that teachers were being coerced to abandon work.
“Zimta deployed vehicles and personnel into the district and their mission was to close schools. On Wednesday these officials were forcing our teachers to stop teaching and go home. What bothered us is we knew that Government was in talks with civil servants regarding their salaries, so we don’t expect these officials to act that way,” he said.
Binga District Residents Association chairperson Mr Elias Sibanda said two vehicles were seen in the district and the officials were going around schools ordering teachers to stop teaching.
“Binga North was covered by a grey single cab vehicle with Zimta logos while Binga South was covered by a white double cab registration number ADA 1715.
“We suspect it is politically motivated as the Government is working tirelessly to address the teachers’ grievances,” he said.
In an interview, the Zimta chief executive officer Mr Sifiso Ndlovu said the officials were not forcing teachers to close schools but were communicating teachers’ plans to go on strike starting on February 5.
“I do not know of such allegations of our officials forcing teachers out of schools. I believe the visits could have been discussing memos signed by Zimta and PTUZ and passing on the message as discussed that we are going on industrial strike on the 5th of this month,” he said. — @esinathy_essira