Teachers Group Abandons 200KM Protest March After State Intimidation

By Mlondolozi Ndlovu

Harare, August 23, 2016 – A GROUP of teachers belonging to the Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (RTUZ) have been forced to abandon what they intended to be a 200km protest walk after they were repeatedly subjected to acts of intimidation by suspected state agents.

Announcing the abrupt end to the long march on Monday, RTUZ President Obert Masaure noted that his organisation needed to restrategise as it was no longer safe to continue with the march.

“It is with a heavy heart that I am forced to call off our 200km march,” Masaure said in a statement.

“The lives of our leaders are in danger. As revolutionaries, we have to retreat at times and restrategise. I can’t share finer details of security concerns as some comrades are still to get safety.”

The militant teachers group said it had however managed to submit its demands to the relevant authorities.

“Our list of demands have been circulated to all the relevant offices. We are going back to the drawing board to craft other violent methods of action. Victory is certain.”

At some point, suspected state security agents reportedly interrogated RTUZ Vice President Thandiwe Dube, its Secretary General Robson Chere who wanted to hand over a petition at Murewa district offices.

Masaure was also arrested when the group had taken a break at Rukunguhwe borehole, some 15 km from Murewa.

The handful determined teachers were seven days into what had been intended to be a 10 day march which started from Mashonaland East’s Murewa area destined for Harare.

They had a number of demands from President Robert Mugabe’s government.

 

Top among them were demands for government to improve the quality of rural education and the need for government to award full school status to over 1,500 satellite schools in the country.