Zim Police Charge Protesting Teachers with Disorderly Conduct and Contravening POSA

ZIMBABWE Republic Police (ZRP) officers on Wednesday 19 December 2018 charged 14 leaders and members of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) with contravening the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and disorderly conduct after they were arrested for allegedly staging an anti-government protest over poor salaries and unfavourable working conditions.

The 14 ARTUZ leaders and members were charged with disorderly or riotous conduct as defined in Section 41(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly blocking a road in Ruwa, just outside Harare while holding and waving placards during an anti-government protest over poor salaries and unfavourable working conditions.

ARTUZ President Obert Masaraure was also charged with failing to notify the regulatory authority (ZRP) of their intention to hold a public gathering in contravention of Section 25(1) of POSA.

The 14 ARTUZ leaders and members, who are represented by Tinomuda Shoko and Kossam Ncube of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, include Masaraure, Robson Chere, Taurai Boora, Regai Chinhuto, Brenda Musavengane, Gaudencia Mandiopera, Sukoluhle Ndlovu, Munyaradzi Masiiwa, Regis Mzambi, Memory Phiri, Christine Judane, Takemore Mhlanga, Gerald Tinashe and Godfrey Chanda.

The teachers, who are set to appear at Rotten Row Magistrates Court on Wednesday afternoon, were arrested by ZRP members on Tuesday 18 December 2018 in Ruwa, just outside Harare and detained at Harare Central Police Station as they marched from Mutare to Harare, where they intend to camp and picket at Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube’s office to demand payment of their salaries in foreign currency and the full payment of their 2018 annual bonuses.

The arrest of the labour unionists is the second one in less than one week after ZRP members first arrested nine ARTUZ leaders and members on Saturday 15 December 2018 in Macheke, Mashonaland East province before they were set free after prosecutors declined to prosecute them.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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