The Amalgamated Rural Teacher’s Union (ARTUZ) is sick and tired of the government spending millions on cars, but refusing to pay its civil servants a living wage. The original creators of the “Pocket’s Out” protest are at it again! They’re quite literally on the march – walking all the way from Mutare to Harare to draw attention to their demands.
In a notice addressed to the Finance, Education and Public Service ministries ARTUZ Secretary General Robson Chere said: “Teachers are going to march demanding that their salaries be paid in US dollars and that their bonuses be paid in full. Teachers’ salaries are being paid in RTGS, contrary to the 2012 negotiated agreement that salaries would be paid in United States dollars.” Government might want to insist that one is to one, but the RTGS salary paid to rural teachers is currently only worth about $75 in ‘real’ money.
The strenuous 257km march is now on its third day, with at least 40 teachers participating. Some have had injuries, but rain or shine, they’re carrying on until their demands are met. Today the caravan is marching from Nyazura to Rusape. If you pass them, make sure to give them a pom pom.
It’s not the first time that ARTUZ has embarked on such an action. In 2016, executive members of the union undertook a 10-day 200km march from Mutawatawa in Maramba-Pfungwe, Mashonaland East province, to Harare to press for similar demands. It didn’t end well. They were interrogated by state security agents, and the 15 remaining marchers were later forced to call off the protest march citing alleged death threats from state security agents in the province.
Action: Show some solidarity for the ARTUZ demonstrators:
– Send us your solidarity messages and we will get them to the marchers on the road. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or Whats App +263 779 567768.
– Contribute financially for food and water to keep them going on their long walk, send Ecocash to 0775 643 192 (Robson Chere, SG)
– Visit the Caravan on the road! Call Robson Chere on 0775 643 192 to find out where they’re at, and to sign up for the daily dispatch
– Come and cheer on the Salary Caravan on the 19th of December when it arrives at the Ministry of Finance Offices in Harare.