August 23, 2019
POLICE on Friday brutally crushed a wild-cat protest by the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) members who wanted to picket at the Ministry of Finance in protest over the poor salaries.
Last year ARTUZ members marched from Mutare to Harare demanding salaries in US dollars.
ARTUZ has alternatively been calling on government to review teachers’ salaries in accordance with the interbank rate the central bank introduced in February this year after floating the local currency/bond note at $2.50 against USD$.
Currently the interbank rate against local currency stands at USD$1: $8.7.
At least eight members of the union including human rights lawyer Douglas Coltart were arrested and charged with “public nuisance”. Coltart was assaulted with rubber truncheons before he was handcuffed in the process.
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23 August 2019
POLICE ARREST AND DETAIN PEACEFUL ARTUZ
PROTESTORS, A LAWYER AND JOURNALIST
ON 23 August 2019, members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, arrested ten (10) people who include Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) members, their lawyer Doug Coltart and a journalist Leopold Munhende outside a government complex in Harare.
The ARTUZ members were arrested as they engaged in a peaceful protest dubbed “PAY FUNERAL”
Those arrested include ARTUZ President Obert Masaraure, Shepherd Tazvivinga, Gerald Tinashe Taruvinga, Tryvine Musokeri, Andrew Mungure, Nation Mudzitirwa, Simon Drury, Godfery Chanda, Doug Coltart and Munhende.
They were apprehended outside the Ministry of Finance Offices in Harare, where they intended to hand over a petition highlighting their grievances as teachers whose salaries have been severely eroded by inflation and the changes in monetary policy resulting in most teachers taking home a salary of less than an equivalent of thirty-eight United States Dollars every month.
Nine (9) of those arrested excluding Munhende (who is a journalist arrested during the course of his work) have since been charged with committing ‘Criminal Nuisance’ as provided in section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and are detained at Harare Central Police Station.
The nine are represented by Blessing Nyamaropa, Tinomuda Shoko and Beatrice Mtetwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
Meanwhile, Munhende has since been released.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
No. 103 Sam Nujoma Street, Harare, Zimbabwe
Phone: (+263 8677005347, +263 242 764085/705370/708118
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