BULAWAYO – Teachers who took part in the country’s July 31 elections under the MDC formations have allegedly been fired from work while those who participated under Zanu PF were safe.
Takavafira Zhou, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president told hundreds of teachers during the World Teachers’ Day commemorations in Bulawayo on Saturday that most teachers who contested parliamentary, senatorial and council elections under mainstream MDC and smaller MDC countrywide were either fired or transferred from their work stations.
“This is not fair at all and we should not accept it; we want all teachers to be treated fairly. We have our members who took part in elections under MDC being suspended or fired by this government. Some have been transferred, but those who contested elections under Zanu PF retained their jobs.
“Teachers should be allowed to support any political party without being harassed,” said Zhou.
Zhou’s sentiments come as teachers in Masvingo were reportedly being harassed by war veterans for supporting MDC during elections.
PTUZ represents more than 15 000 teachers countrywide.
Zhou said Zimbabwean teachers have become a laughing stock and the country’s youths no longer want to train as teachers because of poor salaries.
“We have become a laughing stock; even our children don’t want to become teachers after completing their Ordinary and Advanced Levels. There is also no more respect for teachers by this government,” he said.
Zimbabwean teachers are currently getting salaries as low as $300 far below the country’s Poverty Datum Line (PDL).
The International Labour Organisation recommends that the PDL should be used as a benchmark or reference point in determining minimum wages.
The country’s poverty datum line for an average of five persons per household stands at $541.
The poverty line is the threshold below which families or individuals are considered to be lacking the resources to meet the basic needs for healthy living; in other words, having insufficient income to provide the food, shelter and clothing needed to preserve health.