The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said reports of teachers being forced to finance the congress had been received from Midlands, Mashonaland East and West as well as Manicaland.
“This is extortion. We all know that teachers are suffering and they are taking more money from them. It is criminal,” said PTUZ secretary general Raymond Majongwe.
Zimbabwean teachers earn an average $17 million a month while official estimates put the cost of sustaining a family of six at around $30 million a month, assuming they only paid for basic goods and services.
It is alleged that ruling party district co-ordinating committees have during the past two weeks moved from school to school in most parts of the country, ordering teachers to contribute.
Each teacher is required to contribute $300 000, while headmasters are forced to pay $500 000 each. A teacher at Chibiya Primary School in Murewa said all the 27 teachers at the school had paid the money by Friday last week.
Majongwe said the forced contributions were in violation of a 2005 promise by ZANU PF secretary for education and information minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu that no teacher would be coerced to contribute money towards ruling party business.
“So we are urging our members not to pay anything,” said Majongwe.
Contacted for comment, Ndlovu said he was not aware that teachers were being forced to contribute.
The party’s secretary for finance, David Karimanzira, said the party has appealed to supporters and well-wishers to contribute towards the congress but insisted that no one was being forced to contribute. – ZimOnlinePost published in: News