Education minister pleads with teachers

HARARE - Education minister Paul Mavhima has implored teachers to give the on-going national joint negotiations a chance, cautioning that industrial action will disadvantage the students.

This came after Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) over the weekend had indicated that they had downed tools although yesterday they were singing a different song, saying the non-attendance by some teachers yesterday was not a strike per se, but a result of the incapacitation of its members the association had long warned the employer of.

Sifiso Ndlovu, Zimta’s chief executive officer said the non-attendance by some teachers yesterday was not a strike per se, but a result of the incapacitation that his association had long warned the employer of. “This incapacitation did not begin today but was first announced on the 17th of December last year. Zimta declared incapacitation and this has remained up to today,” he said.

Ndlovu said those who had managed to source cash had gone back to work, noting that there is, however, no guarantee that they will be able to continue. 

“What we have today is not a Zimta strike, it is nothing less than the incapacitation of teachers,” he said.

He said while some teachers in the urban areas had reported for duty yesterday, some learners had stayed at home as parents and guardians feared for their safety due to the state of affairs.

Mavhima yesterday told the Daily News that the teachers’ unions that are part of the Apex Council should give dialogue a chance.

“Let’s not disadvantage the children, the government has shown an interest to revise the offer.

“They should participate in the negotiations through the Apex Council; government and the unions will soon find each other. We cannot affect the education of the children; they are the future of the country.”

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ)’s secretary-general Raymond Majongwe maintained that teachers will wait for the 14 days ultimatum given to government to lapse, before taking action. The notice takes effect on Friday.


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