A RURAL teachers’ union has called for a nationwide strike on January 4 to protest government’s failure to pay civil servants’ bonuses this year.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Government has been silent on the payment of civil servants’ bonuses and has angered its employers by continuously shifting the December pay-dates.
Teachers were expected to get paid beginning today, while the rest of civil servants, including nurses, would be paid on January 5.
But the Rural Teachers’ Union in Zimbabwe (RTUZ) said this was unacceptable, warning the organisation “stands ready to fight for our dues, and fight those who deny us our dues”.
RTUZ urged all workers to join the anti-government protest, adding they would not return to work until their bonuses are paid.
“We call upon the working class of this country to join hands and confront the anti-workers ruling party and demand bonuses for civil servants. Retrenchments and other anti-workers policies we have witnessed this year were a clear message on the need of solidarity among the working people,” RTUZ said in a statement on Sunday.
“On January 4, let’s join hands and flood the streets demanding bonuses. We will not return to work until the bonus issue is resolved.”
RTUZ dismissed claims that government was broke after spending millions of dollars on foreign junkets, hotel bills for Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko and the recent Zanu PF conference, among others.
“The claims that government is broke were rubbished by the hosting of a wasteful State banquet by the President recently. The Zanu PF conference, Mphoko’s hotel bills and endless foreign trips are all indicators that we have surplus cash in government coffers. We will not entertain claims government is broke,” RTUZ said.
“A government that lies to its citizens deserves no recognition and must be pushed out of power by concerted peaceful activities of grieved citizens. As a union, we stand ready to fight for our dues and fight against those who deny us our dues. There are no compromises on the issue.”
Mphoko has been staying in opulence at the Rainbow Towers Hotel, chewing hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ monies.
“Zanu PF must deliver on bonuses and salaries. After all, this year alone, they spent $180 million on meaningless globetrotting and $200 million purchasing top-of-the-range vehicles for a few fatcats in high offices. For Zanu PF to now tell us they cannot pay bonuses is to take their circus too far.”