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RBZ concedes to rural teachers concerns

After two nationwide #PocketsOut, #HomwePanze, #IzikhwamaPhandle protests the policy makers are finally listening to the voice of rural teachers and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor, Dr. Mangudya, was the first to call for engagement with the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) leadership.

The crunch meeting was held at the RBZ headquarters in Harare, on 17 October 2017 from 1530hrs- 1915hrs. ARTUZ sent a 6-member delegation led by Vice President, Galdencia Mandiopera and Secretary General, Robson Chere.

On the agenda of the meeting were ARTUZ demands which are being pushed for under the #PocketsOut which are:

  • Full access to salaries in cash at one withdrawal for rural teachers and other civil servants
  • Immediate reduction of RTGS fees to the same level as withdrawal charges
  • Priority in banks must also consider rural teachers upon production of their pay slips so that they are served and return to their stations on time
  • RBZ must ensure that there is a framework for economic accountability and transparency especially on how forex is used in the country
The ARTUZ team also took the governor to task over fruitless promises he made on 16 November 2016 when he proclaimed that the surrogate bond note currency will be redeemable for any other currency within the multi-currency system, that bond notes would also solve the cash shortages among other things.

In response to ARTUZ demands as laid out in the on-going PocketsOut campaign, Mangudya admitted that the current cash shortages are symptoms of a big economic crisis which stalking the country.

He accepted the grievances which the union articulated such as the indignity suffered by teachers as they sleep in bank queues, high RTGS charges and the reduction of the pay cheque by up to 30% because of pricing regimes which make transactions in electronic money expensive among list of other grievances.

From the ARTUZ demands, the RBZ chief agreed to look into the reduction of RTGS fees to the same level as cash withdrawal charges and also to consider the issue of giving priority to rural teachers in banking halls upon production a pay slip. He was however evasive on the key demand of full salaries on a single withdrawal.

Regrettably, Mangudya conceded lack of commitment and capacity in proffering an immediate solution to the current cash shortages but was quick to shoulder the blame to other state actors like the police and judiciary which he blamed for not doing enough to wipe out cash vendors from the streets.

Further, he pointed out that there was no uptake for structural reforms within government which are required to get the economy moving.

A review meeting has been set for early December 2017 but in the meantime ARTUZ will continue with its on-going #PocketsOut protests penciled for every Friday each fortnight.

Facebook- Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe
Twitter - @RuralTeacherZim

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

Chuka is an experienced certified web developer with an extensive background in computer science and 18+ years in web design &development. His previous experience ranges from redesigning existing website to solving complex technical problems with object-oriented programming. Very experienced with Microsoft SQL Server, PHP and advanced JavaScript. He loves to travel and watch movies.

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