By-Zanu PF members are reported to be forcing teachers across the country to return to work by threatening to evict them from school accommodation if they fail to comply.
Suspected Zanu PF activists are allegedly moving around in schools and carrying out a headcount of the number of teachers in attendance and demanding an explanation from headmasters over absenteeism.
A school head who spoke to NewsDay on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation claimed that Zanu PF activists were working in cahoots with elected individuals to intimidate teachers.
Zimbabwe National Teachers Union (ZINATU) chief executive Manuel Nyawo demanded that the security of teachers be guaranteed. Said Nyawo:
We are disturbed and angered as (ZINATU) that our members, who are citing incapacitation as they lodge their legitimate grievances to their employer, are being threatened by people who are masquerading as ZANU PF officials and activists.
We appeal to the employer to depoliticise all educational institutions countrywide, making them no go areas for any politician, whether from Zanu PF or the opposition.
We want the safety of our members and students guaranteed.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Obert Masaraure claimed teachers are not only receiving threats from Zanu PF activists but from State agents as well. He said:
Zanu PF is terrorising our members as has become their culture. In Chimanimani, teachers were displaced by threats of violence.
A total of 1 340 individuals have reported threats from both the State and Zanu PF functionaries.
Members remain steadfast demanding the restoration of pre-October 2018 salaries.
Teachers boycotted classes when schools opened for the 2022 first term on 7 February citing incapacitation.
The Government offered civil servants, including teachers, a 20% salary hike, US$100 cash and other incentives which they rejected as inadequate.