The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (NO. 20) 2013 clearly stipulates that “The State must promote the fair representation of all Zimbabwe’s regions in all institutions and agencies of government at every level” (Section 18(1)). However, the people of Matabeleland in Zimbabwe have always been complaining os structural and systematic exclusion from government and private sector employment in Zimbabwe in general and Matabeleland in particular. This has resulted in groups such as Mthwakazi Republic Party staging numerous nonviolent protests in private companies such as Pick’n’Pay Hyper, KFC and Rainbow Hotel.
Recently (on Thursday 07 March 2019) the Chronicle Newspaper published a list of names of teachers that have been recruited by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. Of the Total 1048 Infant and Junior Primary Education teachers 390 are of Matabeleland surnames and the rest are have Shona surnames.
An analysis of the recruitment per province further shows that in Mashonaland provinces very few people of Matabeleland surnames were recruited compared to the Shona surnames people recruited in Matabeleland Provinces. Matabeleland provinces include Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces. The analysis focuses on 9 Provinces.
This action by the government through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education does not only violate Section 18 of the Constitution but also violates Section 14 (1) “The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must endeavor to facilitate and take measures to empower, through appropriate, transparent, fair and just affirmative action, all marginalized persons, groups and communities in Zimbabwe.” Furthermore, Subsection 14(2) continues to stipulate that “At all times the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must ensure that appropriate and adequate measures are undertaken to create employment for all Zimbabweans, especially women and youths”.
This action also violates fundamental human rights as enshrined in Section 56(3) on Equality and non-discrimination. Section 19 and section 81 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe on Rights of Children further stipulates that “A child’s best interests are paramount in every matter concerning the child”. This action does not promote the best interests of the children as the Shona teachers do not understand the local languages in Matabeleland and thus affect child education.
As Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights we call on: (1) Members of Parliament to demand an explanation from the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education; (2) for the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission to investigate the matter and issue a public report on it. This can be done through public enquiries.