Teachers, who are on a 270km protest march from Mutare to Harare, have vowed to soldier on until they reach their destination, saying they are determined to send a message to government that their conditions of service were unbearable.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Members of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe in Nyazura on their way to Harare yesterday
By Tuesday evening, the group, in a march dubbed The Salary Caravan, had reached Nyazura Growth Point.
They were being cheered on by motorists and curious villagers, who urged them to soldier on.
NewsDay caught up with the protesting teachers before Nyazura, where they vowed that they would not allow the rains, distance or any other negative factors to dampen their spirits.
“We are not tiring. We are looking forward to accomplishing our target. The members are not looking back and various communities that we have passed through are warm towards us,” Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure, who is leading the march, said.
“The heavy rains pounding in Manicaland province have so far eluded The Caravan. That’s a good sign, which must send a signal to Finance minister Mthuli Ncube to reform or face the wrath of the poor. Nature is strongly behind us.”
Masaraure said the march had upset the natural order of expected conduct.
“The working class in Zimbabwe is ordinarily viewed as disorganised and docile, that has changed, and changed forever. Workers from across the country are pouring in solidarity messages and preparing to join The Caravan,” he said.
“The 19th of December is going to be a D-day for both Mthuli and government. Citizens are vowing to join The Caravan at Finance ministry offices. The purse holder has up to December 19 to make the right decisions before citizens come on Harare.”
Masaraure said the government must find a solution before their arrival in Harare on December 19.
“Teachers have declared that they are not in a hurry to go back home, since they cannot afford holidaying. Anger is building up and teachers are now threatening to camp at the Finance ministry until their grievances are addressed. We applaud teachers who are on their way to join The Caravan,” he said.
“We urge Ncube to find solutions to our grievances before the 19th, otherwise teachers and other citizens may end up cutting his tenure of office.”
The teachers’ march comes as doctors have downed tools, demanding better remuneration and working conditions.