What I want to state categorically clear without any equivocation and ambiguity is that Ptuz respect journalists and as the fourth estate (media) expect their stories to be objective and thrive to hear from both sides involved in any story in order to ascertain the veracity and authenticity of stories. We also expect journalists to append their names under stories they write as a testimony that whatever they have penned is a product of investigative journalism. Sadly, the so-called ‘Harare Post’ story had none of the above.
For the record as Ptuz we are not aware of any worker who has not been paid by Ptuz. We challenge the masquerades to come clean and stop claiming they are Ptuz workers when they are not. We certainly don’t even have ghosts workers.
The story claimed Ptuz leaders are living a flamboyant life, having meetings in hotels, driving latest all-weather terrain cars when teachers are wallowing in poverty. For the record, Ptuz has never had any meeting in a hotel for the past 12 years. We certainly were not there recently in Victoria Falls Great Betrayal. Our meetings are conducted at our offices and in Schools. The car that Ptuz President drives is a second-hand Japanese car whose cost inclusive of duty was less than $8000. The SG, Majongwe’s car is no exception. The only Ford Ranger new cars (4) that were bought by Ptuz through a loan (at the cost ranging from $37 000 to $53 000 each) were not given to leaders but workers of the Union (co-ordinators Manicaland, Harare, Mat North and National co-ordinator). These are in essence the face of the union as they constantly travel to service and represent members. In line with best international practice, our financial statements are audited and audited statements are presented at Congress. Yes, our audited financial statements were presented at Congress in January 2020 by the treasurer and even state agents were in the meeting during the presentation as we felt we had nothing to hide. They may have picked that the Union, like any other organisation in Zimbabwe does not have a sound financial footing as it depends on membership dues that have been eroded by inflation. But, they certainly lied that we have not paid our workers. I, therefore, dismiss the so-called flamboyance of leaders with the greatest contempt it deserves.
The lies peddled in the ‘Harare Post’ resonate with CIO interrogation of Ptuz leaders a few weeks ago and we can only surmise that the state agents are trying to muzzle their unwavering, unflinching and dynamic advance of the interest of teachers in terms of government payment of salaries equivalent to US$520 interbank rate. We, therefore, urge the forces of darkness to address the message and not target the messengers for vilification.
Ptuz is here to stay. No amount of fabrication, misinformation and distortion will stop Ptuz from articulating that all teachers have tested positive to poverty and that the state must restore our purchasing power parity. We are aware that the smear campaign by state agents is meant to prevent the building up of pent up forces immediately after payday as teachers will be worse of than before. We urge all teachers not to salivate at state agents’ poisoned carrot, but get organised and fight for inter-bank rated salaries. We need to build synergies with parents and our pupils to resist exorbitant school fees as well as examination fees. As Ptuz, we call upon for a disclosure of salaries of everyone in Zimbabwe starting from President, to Ministers, Members of Parliament, Permanent Secretaries, Directors, trade union leaders etc so that we can unravel who real is living a flamboyant life style. We will never be silenced by false accusations by government agents. We are aware of the African proverb that when a leopard wanted to eat its young ones, it first accused them of smelling like a goat. Our demand on behalf of teachers is legitimate and modest, and no diversionary tactics will force us off track. Only the payment of salaries that restore the purchasing power of teachers would silence us. The only way forward is going forward clamouring for inter-bank rated salaries. Teachers are their own liberators
Dr Takavafira M. Zhou (Ptuz President)Post published in: Featured