ZRP in desperate attempt to thwart RTUZ demo

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is in a desperate attempt to thwart the Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (RTUZ) demonstration slated for the 29th of April 2016 citing frivolous and vexatious reasons.

police officersRTUZ submitted a notification letter to the police on 20 April 2016 which detailed the intention of the demonstration. The letter cited various government policies such as the cancellation of vacation leave, the 7.5% deduction, and the uncertainty of pay dates among others as the reason for demonstration.

The letter also outlined the routes that the union would use to access parliament, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the Public Service Commission.

However the police, through one Sergeant Shangwa of the Police Internal Security Intelligence (PISI) department, informed RTUZ Legal Secretary Mr Maxwell Basiyawo that the police cannot allow the demonstration to go ahead until they receive copies of the union’s registration papers and proof of residence.

Further, the police refused to put their laughable and silly reasons in writing and simply told the union ‘to stop wanting to destabilize the country.’ The police are reluctant to put these reasons in writing as they are aware that their shenanigans will not stand for a day in a competent court of law.

This is not the first time the police have attempted to thwart RTUZ’s peaceful activities. Ahead of the 4 January2016 bonus demonstration, the police waylaid RTUZ President Obert Masaraure and Programmes officer Pride Mkono and brutally assaulted them on 28 December 2015 as they were coming from a planning meeting.

The police were attempting to silence the union and thus thwart the intended demonstration. However their brutish tactics could not deter the unwavering members of the union as they poured into the streets of Harare and staged a memorable demonstration which effectively kick started the 2016 mass demonstration season and since then many other organizations have followed suit.

Furthermore when the Union gave an ultimatum in early February 2016 demanding bonus dates, the government was quick to give dates and has since started paying out the bonuses. Another victory for RTUZ!

RTUZ President Mr Obert Masaraure condemned the actions of the police and vowed that the demonstration will go ahead as it is a fundamental right guaranteed in section 59 of the constitution.

“The latest attempt to quash our peaceful activities by the police proves beyond any doubt that our ZRP has no regard for the constitution. Their actions are illegal and manifestly thuggish and thus have no place in a modern democracy” said President Masaraure.

Meanwhile, RTUZ will press ahead with preparations for the demonstration and will be mobilizing its members from across the country to attend the march and send a clear message to the failing government.

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