BY TATENDA SQUARE
STRIKING markers yesterday accused the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) of armtwisting them to go back to work before receiving their full allowances.
They alleged that Zimsec used the “take it or leave it” approach to coerce them to go back to work after they downed tools on Wednesday.
“Zimsec ordered us to go back to work saying ‘take it or leave it’. Since we were almost through with the marking, there was nothing we could do, but to go back to work,” one marker who refused to be named told NewsDay yesterday.
Zimsec spokesperson Nichollete Dlamini said no markers would be forced to go back to work.
“As Zimsec, all our examiners are employed based on their own will to come and participate in the activity. Invitations are sent out, which an examiner then accepts. After that, a contract is presented with all terms and conditions shown,” she said.
“If the examiner agrees, they sign the contract and are engaged. If they wish at any time to leave the exercise, they are free to do so without victimisation. The fee for the work done will be paid to them. Therefore, we cannot armtwist anyone,” Dlamini said.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said: “The process has been chaotic and symbolic since day one. The fact that these markers are working without their agreed allowances will compromise the marking process since markers are working under duress and anger.”
Markers downed tools after Zimsec only deposited between $7 000 and
$9 000 into their bank accounts instead of $21 000 or its equivalent in United States dollars, which is US$200.
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