As Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) we implore the Government of Zimbabwe to abide by the Constitutional principles and values of rule of law, justice, good governance, respect for vested rights (as espoused in Section 3 of the Constitution) by immediately reversing the unjust suspension of all teachers who are incapacitated to go to class.
Our call for government to #BringBackOurTeachers to class is based on the following facts:
- Teachers have said they are incapacitated to carry their duties. Incapacitation is not limited to getting transport to go to school, but also involves their incapacity to function and perform their professional duties to their utmost ability when in school.
- The suspension of teachers for 3 months is an affront to the rights of children and violates children’s rights as well as the principle of BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD as espoused in Sections 19(1) and 81(2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Who will teach the students now? When will the new teachers be interviewed, vetted and recruited? When will they start planning and preparing for subject delivery?
- The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education overreacted and overdid itself by being the complaint, investigator and judge on a matter pertaining to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. By suspending the teachers and docking their salaries whilst investigating, the Ministry violated the doctrine of being “presumed innocent until proven guilty” which is espoused in Section 70(1)(a) of the Constitution as well as principles of separation of powers.
As Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) we join the progressive voices in calling on the Government of Zimbabwe to #BringBackOurTeachers to class which basically means that:
- This suspension of teachers should be reversed immediately and unconditionally and be replaced by genuine dialogue and engagement with the teachers’ bodies;
- Allocate adequate fiscal resources from Treasury to meet teachers’ remuneration and conditions of service needs to restore their dignity as they stand infront of students in class;
- The teaching profession should be respected with the dignity it deserves and the government should genuinely engage and consult the teachers on matters relating to the teaching profession;
- In all matters relating to teachers, their professional duties and their welfare – the best interest of the school children principle should be the guiding standard.
Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) is a registered non-profit organization based in Bulawayo and exists to enhance the protection and promotion of human rights in Zimbabwe.
Mr Khumbulani Maphosa (MIHR Coordinator)
Cellphone/Whatsapp: +263 771730018