Teachers Plot Protest At Mbuya Nehanda Statue Site ‘To Draw Inspiration’

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By Leopold Munhende

FIREBRAND teachers’ group, Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) says it is plotting a protest at the newly unveiled Mbuya Nehanda statue site in Harare ostensibly to draw some inspiration to fight “modern-day exploitation”.

The statue was unveiled Tuesday by President Emmerson Mnangagwa who in his address called upon Zimbabweans to draw some inspiration from the First Chimurenga heroine in their daily quest to remedy the country’s dire economic situation.

Likewise, ARTUZ says it will oblige by heading straight to the site to derive some inspiration over exploitation by government.

The union has been at loggerheads with government over what it describes as slave wages.

There has been little to no positive response by government.

ARTUZ said through its Twitter handle Thursday it will be deploying activists to the site for renewed demonstrations.

“The statue of Mbuya Nehanda was finally erected in Harare,” said ARTUZ.

“We hope the state will allow us to visit the site and draw inspiration as we fight against modern-day exploitation.

“The union will be deploying Comrades to the site to draw inspiration as we prepare for fresh protests for USD salaries.”

Previous protests by the group have elicited a brutal government reaction which has often unleashed some anti-riot police on protestors.

Teachers are demanding the reinstatement of their US dollar wages by government, which maintains it could not afford to pay civil servants in foreign currency.

Government, instead, has continued to review teachers’ wages in RTGS.

Democracy and Governance expert Glen Mpani warned government may just have built an iconic platform for protests in the mould of Egypt’s Tahrir Square, the main location for political demonstrations in the North African country.

Said Mpani on Twitter: “I am not a prophet, what I know is the Zimbabwean government has created a ‘Tahrir square’ where citizens will converge to protest against the Mnangagwa government in the fullness of time. On that day, the ‘bones of Mbuya Nehanda will rise’.”

Government has installed CCTV cameras on the site to monitor activities there.