By Shamiso Ndangana
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) president Peter Mutasa says his organisation is going to challenge President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his ministers to a meeting to discuss teachers salaries.
The teaching profession has reportedly been put into ridicule by the low salaries that teachers are getting.
Although the government reviewed civil servants salaries late last year, the profession claim the increase is insignificant.
This has seen teacher threatening to withdraw their labour when schools open later this month.
Teachers want the salary they were getting before the country reintroduced the local currency and removed the 1:1.
Speaking in an interview on The Insight, the ZCTU president said the biggest opposition to government is the suffering of the people hence they are going to challenge government into action.
“We want to challenge any minister even the President (Emmerson Mnangagwa to come and sit down with us, and tell us why the workers should not challenge them when they are paying teachers US$50,” he said.
Mutasa added, “MDC is not the major opposition to government. The major opposition to the government is the repression of the government to its citizens.
“The major opposition to government is hunger and starvation that is staring everyone including the people who are working,” said Mutasa.
He said what disappointing in the country is that the government is ignoring advice from sector holders choosing to use brutal force on labour leaders and citizens.
“The government did not implement all the issues we had agreed to. It even went further and become very brutal and brutalised labour leaders which led to the coming of the International Labour Organization Commission of Inquiry in 2009.
“We are now calling on workers everywhere that negotiations and tripartite negotiation forum have failed. Workers must prepare to strike, and workers must prepare to be in the streets.
“Our punishment is now and we are feeling it, the country has been destroyed. Go to the hospitals, they are dilapidated, go to the schools, they resemble pigsty, everything has gone down.
“So we warned the government and it did not listen, we are warning them again they are not listening,” he added.
According to Mutasa, “The whole country is in crisis. We have been pushing for social dialogue because we have seen some economic and social dislocation.”