GOVERNMENT has suspended with without pay and for three months all teachers who have not reported for duty since schools opened on Monday.
Teachers embarked on industrial action when schools reopened on Monday, 7 February 2022, demanding that the government restore their 2018 salaries which were around US$540.
In a statement on Thursday, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Evelyn Ndlovu said while on suspension, the affected teachers should not interfere with investigations or evidence relating to the alleged misconduct.
“Ministry Primary and Secondary Education would like to inform the nation and its valued stakeholders that all officials within the ministry who absented themselves from duty since the official opening of schools on February 7, 2022 have been suspended without pay forthwith, for a period of three months.
“During this period of suspension, members are not to hinder or interfere with any investigation or evidence relating to the alleged misconduct,” reads part of the statement.
She also said appropriate action will be taken against members who neglect their duties and responsibilities.
Meanwhile, Raymond Majongwe, the Secretary-General of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has claimed that 135 000 teachers, out of a total of 150 000, have been suspended by the government.
“135 000 of the 150 000 teachers have been suspended by gvt. We know only 10 % of the teaching force were turning up for duty.Raymond Majongwe, union leader.
“Effectively schools have closed again. Sad parents had paid huge amounts for fees,” Majongwe said.
The government raised civil servants’ salaries by 20 per cent across the board and also offered US$100 per month in hard currency to every civil servant with effect from the 1st of March 2022 bringing the foreign currency amount to US$175.
Workers were, however, not impressed by the offer which they said was insignificant.
Teachers claim that they are incapacitated and have for the past two years been at loggerheads with the employer saying their salaries were being eroded by inflation.