NINE members of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), who have been marching from Mutare to Harare demanding salaries in United States dollars, were arrested in Macheke yesterday.
BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
According to ARTUZ spokesperson Macdonald Kondo, who escaped the arrests, police in Marondera called the marchers and ordered them not to proceed with their programme claiming it was in violation of the Public Order and Security Act (Posa).
“Just after Macheke, anti-riot police from Marondera arrived and blocked the road, saying what we were doing was illegal,” he said.
“A clash erupted resulting in the participants being forced into police cars and taken to Macheke Police Station. As for now, they are charged with violating Posa.”
According to Kondo, those detained included ARTUZ president Obert Masaraure, secretary-general Robson Chere, Gerald Takawira, Godfrey Chanda, Christine Jubane, Takemore Mhlanga, Regai Chinhuto, Brenda Musavengana and Taurai Boots.
Close to 100 ARTUZ members are marching from Mutare to Harare demanding government to pay teachers in US dollars as well as giving them full bonus payouts.
They started the march last week and hoped to finish the 270km walk in 10 days.
“We have engaged lawyers from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to assist us,” Kondo said from Macheke.
The teachers were later taken to Marondera by the police.
Mashonaland East provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tendai Mwanza said he was yet to receive a report about the arrests yesterday evening.