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Zanu-PF wary of CSOs, teachers' unions

by Staff reporter
15 Nov 2023 at 05:13hrs | Views
THE ruling Zanu-PF party has accused unions representing teachers and civil society organisations (CSOs) of acting as conduits for funnelling illicit funds from the West to topple the government.

In a central committee report released after the Zanu-PF national conference, the party said the organisations were being roped in to push the Western-funded regime change agenda.

"The department noted with concern the disturbing trend of how teachers unions and other civil society organisations have been roped in to push the Western-funded regime change agenda in the country by embassies hostile to our country," the report read.

"The illicit funding of these teachers unions has created a financial gulf between leaders and the people they represent as they have not been negotiating in good faith with the government, with the sole intention of destabilising the education sector.

"The department started the ideological training of teachers to counter this move."

In response, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum acting director Wilbert Mandinde said the allegations were meant to tarnish CSOs.

"As CSOs, we do the monitoring role where we even assist government to make sure that it is able to implement some of the recommendations that it would have accepted," he said.

"CSOs are not politicians. We simply work for the advancement of human rights."

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe leader Obert Masaraure said the accusations were meant to deflect attention from Zanu-PF's failures.

"The party is obsessed with power retention and treats all those who challenge it as enemies," Masaraure said.

"The Zanu-PF regime has managed to make paupers out of the majority of our people. It is stripping Zimbabwe of all its assets and has paralysed service delivery."

The teachers leader said Zanu-PF should focus on delivering for the people and not raising "unfounded allegations".

Educators Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Tapedza Zhou said the allegations were unfortunate and meant to criminalise operations of teachers' unions.

"Such accusations are purported to justify government refusal to adjust public service labour laws in order to satisfy their rights," he said.

"Teacher organisations represent teachers' interests and must be respected for that."

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou accused Zanu-PF of seeking to create a scapegoat for its failures.

"Sadly, Zanu-PF thinks it has unfettered rights to manipulate teachers into its supporters against clear-cut constitutional rights of freedom of association, speech and expression," Zhou said.

"It has even allowed its proxy teacher union, TeachersforED, to abuse Better Schools funds and buses for its meetings and commandeered all school heads to attend Zanu-PF Chitepo School of Ideology for political expediency, while Forever Associates Zimbabwe and some rogue village heads and headmen interfere with smooth running of schools across the country."

Source - newsday