The President of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Dr Takavafira Zhou has said the union’s members decide the course of action and the best way forward on whether to report for work or not. He speaks after reports that he had encouraged PTUZ members to report for work this Monday. Since the 7th of February when schools resumed, some teachers have not been reporting for duty saying they are incapacitated despite the government increasing their salaries by 20 per cent and offering US$100. In response to the industrial action, the employer suspended those participating for three months without pay leaving many confused. Some are for the continuation of the strike while some are considering going to work. Pindula News presents Zhou’s statement:
PTUZ Members Decide Course of Action and Best Way Forward not Leaders
My phone has been inundated since morning by PTUZ members over a malicious Sunday Mail report that I have said PTUZ members are reporting for work tomorrow (Monday 14 February 2022). For the record, I never said that, but indeed I spoke to a Sunday Mail reporter by the name of Debra. I indicated to her that PTUZ leaders are conveyor belts that communicate what members would have agreed on. I unequivocally indicated to her that even if some teachers are willing to report for work I did not see how they could do that as they are incapacitated. I also reiterated that govt must have offered teachers a rescue package to afford them to report for work whilst they are waiting for the next payday as they are virtually incapacitated. Never in our discussion did I usurp members’ rights to decide a course of action collectively.
By way of this communique, I also request provincial chairpersons to swiftly collate provincial reports on members’ input and suggestions on the best way forward. My only candid advice is that members must be guided by PTUZ philosophy of making maximum gains and minimum losses. Any genuine struggle has casualties and we must be able to know our weaknesses and strengths as well as the weaknesses and strengths of the govt in order to fight a thousand battles without losing one. The uniform of a guerilla is the colour of his/her enemy. Venceremos.
Dr Takavafira M. Zhou, PTUZ President