By Anna Chibamu
TEACHERS have warned President Emmerson Mnangagwa not to be comfortable presiding over an hungry nation because it poses a danger to his administration.
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general, Raymond Majongwe told newzimbabwe.com’s The Agenda Programme Monday, that Mnangagwa needed to address the plight of teachers and citizens in particular with haste.
“Government needs to realise that we can only be of service to the nation if workers are well remunerated. I remember, when President Mnangaga was inaugurated at the National Stadium (in November 2017), there was a traditional healer who came and said: ‘President, a hungry nation cannot be governed’. I want to repeat this because it was said on a public platform.
“President, you can’t govern a nation of starving people properly. Your people are hungry. Your workers are hungry,” Majongwe said.
He added: “Make sure you give them enough money so that they can send their children to school. Make sure you make them happy, so they are able to serve this country.”
Speaking on the same programme, Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta), chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu, revealed teachers have had to take soft loans in order to return to their work stations.
“We have had to advance soft loans to teachers so they can get back to work. They have been impoverished and you don’t get such kind of dedication to duty from anywhere in the world.
“Our members are ready to serve their country. The employer must meet their end of the bargain,” said Ndlovu.
The Zimta leader however, indicated Mnangagwa’s administration was a more responsive government when compared to his predecessor former President Robert Mugabe.
“In terms of responsiveness if we compare, I can say yes we have a more responsive government.
“However, I must hasten to say it is no use or even more dangerous if we have a government that listens but then does nothing,” he said.
Last month, government workers were given a salary adjustment package by government of about RTGS$129,00 but this has since been wiped out after prices of basic commodities shot through the roof.
Unions have argued: “Civil servants are worse off than they were before the paltry increment. It has turned into an insult. The $129 translated into about $50 after the presidential cushioning allowance was withdrawn inexplicably”
The country’s new school term opened Tuesday, with most parents failing to take their children to school after failing to raise fees.
Ndlovu said it was a nightmare for most parents to take their children to school due to the biting economic hardships.
“It was disturbing to note that parents have been forced to dig deeper whilst government had failed to turn its well-crafted polices into reality.
“The response from government to the situation has been very slow. There is need for political dialogue to resolve these issues. They are political,” Ndlovu said.