Gwanda Pupil (9), Drags Teachers To Court Over Strike Threats
30 August 2021
A 9-year-old learner at Mafuko Primary School in Gwanda district in Matabeleland South has approached the High Court on an urgent basis seeking an order barring teachers in public schools from embarking on industrial action.
The minor Amohelang Ulukile Dube, who is being presented by her grandmother, Senzeni Nyathi, through her lawyers Ndove and Associates, filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court in Bulawayo.
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Dube wants the High Court to bar teachers from going on strike over poor salaries and working conditions.
In papers before the court, the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta), Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), the chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Dr Vincent Hungwe, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Cain Mathema, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Professor Paul Mavima and Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube, were cited as respondents.
The application follows the recent threats by teachers not to resume work when schools reopen for the second term.
The teachers are pushing for US$550 per month or its equivalent in local currency from the government and have threatened to boycott classes if their demands are not met.
In her founding affidavit, Nyathi said the actions of the cited teacher unions and their members to refuse to take up classes constitutes a violation of the children’s rights to education as enshrined in sections 75 and 81 of the country’s Constitution.
She wants the teachers’ unions together with their members interdicted from boycotting classes with all teachers being directed to report for duty within 48 hours of the granting of the order.
The applicant said in the event that the teachers refuse to comply, Government should be directed to take all measures to ensure that there is no interruption of classes in all public schools.