Trial Date Set For 17 Teachers Arrested During A Salary Protest1 year ago
The trial date has been set for seventeen (17) teachers who were arrested in January 2022 during a protest over salaries.
They are scheduled to appear in court on 27 October 2022.
The state accuses the teachers of participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of peace or bigotry as defined in section 37(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
It is alleged that the teachers gathered on 12 January 2022 at the National Social Security Association (NSSA) building in Harare holding stones whilst some had placards written:
SAY NO BOND SLAVERY, ARTUZ, FIGHTING FOR RESTORATION OF classroom DIGNITY # EDU VOTE, ARTUZ, trs, YOU SAID 2022 WE WILL BE HAPPY#540USD SALARY.
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The accused teachers are:
1). Obert Masaraure (ARTUZ president)
2). Tambudzai Mumbijo,
3). Munyaradzi Ndawana,
4). Liam Takura Kanhenga,
5). Wellington Gweshe,
6). Andrew Munguri,
7). Panashe Mutsvairo,
8). Munyaradzi Masiyiwa,
9). Tadiwanashe Muguti,
10). Isaiah Chamunorwa,
11). Brian Mhlanga,
12). Sheron Tambudzai,
13). Linia Nkiwani,
14). Patricia Chiedza,
15). Vimbai Mamutse,
16). Sokuluhle Ndlovu and
17). Thembekile Ncube
They gathered at Harare gardens, Harare and marched towards NSSA whilst singing and holding placards.
The state says the teachers marched with the intention or realising that there is a real risk or possibility of them forcibly disturbing the peace, security or order of the public or any section of the public; or invading the rights of other people.
Meanwhile, ARTUZ says the arrests are a sign that protests are banned in Zimbabwe.
The government recently offered an increase of 25 per cent on the USD$100 cushioning allowance to make it US$125 and maintained the USD$75 COVID-19 allowance to make the total US dollar package US$200 with effect from September 1, 2022. Pre-October 2018, they earned about US$540.
Teachers and the rest of the public service, have been at loggerheads with the government since 2019 over salaries after the government decided to pay them in the local currency that was pegged at 1: 1 with the United States dollar.
Reintroduced in June 2019, the Zimbabwe dollar has constantly been losing value against the USD thereby eroding workers’ salaries.