By Tapiwanashe Mulenga
Educators Union of Zimbabwe (EUZ), has elected a new executive board which is expected to lure more members to the country’s youngest teachers’ representative body.
Tafadzwa Munodawafa was elected president, Kosam Ndlovu, first vice president, Molly Banda as the second vice president, Secretary General Tapedza Zhou, Thando Bhebe as vice secretary-general, and Gareth Shumba as the treasurer.
The new committee is expected to hold office with diligence in representing teachers and urge the government to review their remuneration. This comes after the government banned backyard lessons conducted by teachers due to Covid-19 which helped to supplement their monthly salary. Teachers’ wages are not enough to sustain them and most of them rely on vending and loans ( chimbazo) to support their families.
“We came into being as a result of the deteriorating welfare of teachers. The salary of an ordinary teacher has been rendered meaningless and has turned him into a beggar.
“We believe the employer is not doing much to address our welfare despite the pleas we made as teachers,” said Munodawafa.
Tapedza Zhou the newly elected Secretary-General said that the monthly salary should resume to $540 USA as prior to the introduction of local currency. Teachers in rural areas struggle financially and most of them live in poor structures some of which once belonged to white farmers during the colonial era built for farmworkers.
With the opening of schools, teachers seek PPEs to protect themselves from contracting the virus since last term witnessed many teachers succumbing to the virus.
“The equipment is not adequate and we, therefore, are not safe,” said president Munodawafa.
Most teachers are skeptical about resuming work due to the continuous rise in Covid-19 cases.