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ARTUZ Leader Convicted

21 December 2020

The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, ARTUZ Masvingo Provincial Secretary for Gender and Welfare cde Sheila Chisirimunhu has been sentenced to 16 months with 6 months suspended. She is going to serve an effective 10 months in prison. Cde Chisirimunhu was convicted of charges of participating in a gathering with the intention to cause public violence on 22 June 2020 at Mucheke District Education Offices Masvingo.

The verdict passed by the Masvingo Magistrate Mbonisi Ndlovu proves that the Zimbabwean judiciary system is compromised. The outcome of cde Sheila’s court case came at a juncture when there is abuse of law against female activists.

We continue to observe the widening of the legislative gap between the constitution of the land and the existing operative laws in the public sector. Its only in Zimbabwe where we have magistrates who do not honour the constitution, with reference to section 59 and 65 of Zimbabwean constitution. The constitution clearly give emphasis on the rights of employees to take part in collective job action, the rights to demonstrate and petition. The court ruling has blatently violated section 59 and 65.

There is need for the realignment of the judiciary system henceforth avoid the victimization of activists particularly our female cde Sheila Chisirimunhu. It’s a pity that on top of the poor remuneration that teachers are earning, the Judiciary system has manifested its diabolic traits on cde Sheila.

A notice of appeal has been submitted to the court.

We condemn the travesty court ruling on cde Sheila’s case, on this note we cordially urge fellow citizens to join hands and form a front that will take action to calibrate the judiciary system of our motherland.

The fight has only just began, we will not rest until Cde Chisirimunhu is free. Convictions and all other forms of oppression are not the correct solution to poor teachers salaries and the collapsing education system.

#FreeSheila

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