Education International
Education International

Zimbabwe: Another trade unionist arrested

published 16 May 2008 updated 16 May 2008

EI strongly protests the arrest of Raymond Majongwe, the General Secretary of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ). Majongwe was picked up by the police on May 15 at the High Court of Zimbabwe where he was attending a hearing in which leaders of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) are accused of inciting people during their May Day celebrations to rise against the government.

Raymond Majongwe's arrest may be connected with press advertisements posted by the PTUZ deploring the fact that teachers are being beaten and harassed at their workplaces in the current wave of political violence in Zimbabwe.

Both PTUZ and EI’s affiliate ZIMTA are collecting evidence of violence affecting teachers. So far, EI has received reports of acts of violence against teachers in at least 250 schools in 23 districts throughout the country in the period between 3 and 9 May. Hate against teachers is being propagated and according to our sources, in some instances teachers have been beaten in front of pupils and community members. Sixty-seven teachers have been hospitalised in Harare, Kotwa, Karoi, Rusape, Bonda, Howard, Guruve, Marondera and other clinics; 139 teachers had to flee their schools; 213 teachers’ houses have been looted. An undisclosed number of teachers have fled into neighbouring countries and are likely not to return. EI continues to collect facts.

EI strongly condemns these attacks and supports the resolution adopted by its affiliate, ZIMTA condemning the violence affecting teachers and asking protection for affected teachers to make sure there is no disruption of teaching and learning programmes.

EI is also considering sending a mission to Zimbabwe as well as other interventions to support victimized teachers.