The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe ARTUZ has taken a swipe at President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his administration of trying to cause discord in the education system through highjacking teachers unions.

This follows the launch of a union called ‘Teachers for ED’ and ARTUZ says the development is unfortunate.

“The regime and ZANU PF politicians are working in cahoots to enable the intrusion of partisan politics in the education sector through the so called “teachers for ED vehicle”.

“As ARTUZ we condemn such and maintain that the education sector should be free from partisan politics,” says ARTUZ.

Government recently approved a new teachers’ union with the moniker “Teachers for ED (Economic Development), and ED is also President Mnangagwa’s nickname from his middle name “Emmerson Dambudzo”.

A circular dated June 22, 2022 written by the secretary of Primary and Secondary Education Tumisang Thabela to all provincial education directors, states:

“It is noted that Teachers for Economic Development has completed setting up structures in the 10 provinces of the country and requested authority to launch the provincial chapters and the national chapter.

“In view of the above, authority is hereby granted to conduct the provincial and national launches of the Teachers for Economic Development.

“Kindly liaise with provincial education directors in the respective provinces on the suitable dates and venues.”

But other teachers’ unions, which have been demanding that government should pay them in United States dollars, said this was a ploy to frustrate their fight for a living wage.

ARTUZ national secretary-general Robson Chere said they were concerned that politicians are working in cahoots with ministry officials to introduce a political creature disguised as Teachers for Economic Development.

“We urge the teachers to disregard, disapprove and dismiss the abuse of the teaching profession through commissariat schemes played by the regime under the guise of such unions.

“Like any other worker or profession, teachers should be left free and distant from partisan politics except if it is voluntary.

“The Constitution of Zimbabwe under sections 64 and 65 clearly makes a demand for good administrative conduct, and that means administrative conduct that is free from political intrusion,” Chere said.