PTUZ officials arrested

HARARE - Bulawayo police have arrested two officials of militant teachers’ representative body, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) for allegedly obstructing the course of justice in Bulawayo.

Enoch Paradzayi, the PTUZ national co-ordinator and his provincial coordinator Vusumuzi Mahlangu were put behind bars at West Commonage Police Station yesterday for allegedly interrupting law procedures.

The two had visited the station in search of a member who was reported to be behind bars.

“They saw in one of the papers that a headmaster who is our member had been arrested.

They went to the station to try and get facts as to why the headmaster was arrested. Unfortunately, the tables were turned on them and they were also arrested,” said Sandra Peterson, a PTUZ member who is based at the organisation’s Bulawayo office.

Trouble for Paradzayi and Mahlangu started when they insisted the headmaster should not sign a statement with his lawyer absent.

“This angered the police who shoved Mahlangu and Paradzayi out of the charge office. They protested to this treatment and the police then resolved to arrest them,” she said.

“We were told to look for lawyers as the three of them are set to appear before a magistrate”, Peterson said.

Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Mandlenkosi Moyo said he was unaware of the PTUZ leaders’ arrest.

PTUZ is a militant teacher’s body formed in 1997 to negotiate, safeguard reasonable salaries and wages and conditions of employment for teachers in Zimbabwe.

The organisation also seeks to raise awareness on teachers’ rights and responsibilities based on human rights, individual and collective freedoms through educational programmes. - Lloyd Mbiba

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