TEACHERS’ unions have dismissed Buhera West MP Joseph Chinotimba’s claims that they were on the opposition MDC Alliance payroll and involved in plotting government’s downfall.
The educators advised the Zanu PF legislator to concentrate on resolving his marital problems instead of delving in matters that don’t concern him.
The firebrand legislator taunted striking teachers on Tuesday, saying they were being paid by the opposition MDC Alliance to embark on a strike in order to discredit President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
Chinotimba made the claims in Parliament after teachers insisted on United States dollar-indexed salaries.
However, teachers’ unions had no kind words for him and advised him to desist from making blanket statements, but name those whom he had identified being paid by the opposition.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe yesterday threw a salvo at Chinotimba, urging him to invest his energy in solving his domestic issues with his “many wives”.
“Chinotimba should just leave us alone. Instead, he should concentrate on solving his issues with his estranged wives. I have nothing more to say. We’re not going back to work until the employer played its part and incapacitate us,” Majongwe said.
Chinotimba made headlines last week after his second wife, Locardia Dzitiro, was caught in a compromising position with another man in Harare.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu dismissed Chinotimba’s claims, saying his organisation was purely a teacher union representing the interests of teachers.
“We, as Zimta, are not fronting any agent,” Ndlovu said.
“We are an agent on our own representing our teachers who are drawn from all walks of life to improve their socio-economic issues. We have never been used by any agent other than trade union and social responsibility for our members. It is up to (Hon) Chinotimba to define who are these teachers on the MDC Alliance payroll.
“It is a question of incapacitation for our teachers to go to back to work. When we used the word incapacitation, it was deliberate to show that the onus lies with the employer to see into the welfare of teachers so that they deliver a social service to the people.”
The Zanu PF legislator claimed that government had done its best to address teachers’ grievances.
Teachers have been on strike since September when schools reopened for examination classes.
This strike has left students unattended, with some reportedly engaging in and sexy orgies and drugs.
Schools opened on Monday for non-examination classes, but teachers have vowed not to go back to work until government has adjusted their salaries.