Education International
Education International

Zimbabwe: Violence hits teachers

published 9 May 2008 updated 9 May 2008

Violence continues in Zimbabwe following the drawn out election process and affects particularly trade unionists and teachers. The EI affiliate ZIMTA witnessed "many teachers in rural areas being killed, maimed, wantonly tortured and abused".

The Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) has adopted a resolution condemning the violence against teachers. Following the decision of the ZIMTA National Conference (Inyaga, 23-25 April 2008), meetings have been held with the Public Service Commission, the employer of all civil servants in Zimbabwe. ZIMTA condemned the violence affecting teachers and asked protection for affected teachers to make sure there is no disruption of teaching and learning programmes.

ZIMTA has also embarked on a special intervention project aimed at providing security and counselling services to the victimised teachers.

EI also learnt that the President and General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) were both arrested on 8 May as a result of comments which they made in May Day speeches. They are charged with ‘inciting people to rise against the government and reporting falsehoods about people being killed’ and for having spoken about the political crisis due to long postponement of the announcement of the election results and the ensuing wave of violent intimidation of opposition supporters.

EI will write to the Zimbabwean government to protest against the victimisation of teachers and detention of trade unionists.