Three educationists belonging to the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) have been arrested for protesting over salary issues in Masvingo today.
Amongst the arrested members was the ARTUZ Provincial secretary for gender and welfare Sheila Chirisamhuru detained at Chikato Police station facing charges of participating in an illegal demonstration.
ARTUZ in a statement condemned the arrest by the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
The teachers association says, “We take it as as a direct attack to the workers (teachers) who were exercising their constitutional rights in demanding a living.”
“The protests will continue in every province in the country until the employer pays us US$520 monthly salary.”
Teachers’ demonstration takes place despite the government’s decision to adjust civil servants’ salaries by 50% and a non-taxable COVID-19 Allowance of USD$75.00 per month last week.
The Ministry of Finance’s salary adjustment, which came out after a demonstration by nurses and doctors last week, is an interim arrangement for a period of 3 months starting from June 2020.
In a statement concerning the adjustment, the Finance Ministry, says, ” Government has taken due regard of the fact that addressing the wage challenges faced across the Civil Service, any salary reviews will need to be done within a holistic framework in order to ensure that such a review does not impose a negative shock to the market.”
“Government would, therefore, wish to advise members of of the civil service that the above interim adjustments have been put in place whilst a comprehensive impact assessment and a framework for mitigating against the downside macroeconomic risks of the wage proposals made to the government on the budget and the economy are being carefully worked out.”
The medical professionals who demonstrated last week demanded to be paid in US Dollar, with the local currency losing value as inflation continues to rise in Zimbabwe.
The nurses and doctors were questioning the government’s decision to slash wage already being eroded by inflation in the country.