BY LORRAINE MUROMO
TEACHERS unions have threatened to resort to legal recourse following delays by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) to pay census enumerators their dues.
The 2022 national population and housing census was held in April, but teachers are complaining that they have not been paid their allowances.
In June this year, ZimStat director-general Taguma Mahonde and some enumerators exchanged harsh words over the non-payment.
Last week, the enumerators, most of them teachers, complained that they had been short-changed by ZimStat, which has already released preliminary results of the census before paying them.
The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) yesterday tweeted: “@Dear Zimstat and @ZecZim [Zimbabwe Electoral Commission], our members want to know if you still want to pay them for the work they did for you months back. We want a final response. If you don’t want to pay, that’s fine.”
PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou said they were considering taking legal action.
“The enumerators have not been paid. We are considering several options to force ZimStat to pay them their dues. Such options include demonstrations, legal recourse and even boycotts of future exercises by ZimStat. We must never take teachers in their numbers for granted.”
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said: “Fake promises were sold to teachers, but were never fulfilled. The new government strategy is to delay to pay for services rendered by teachers as a way to save money and deploy the money towards elite luxuries. The government has some hot hatred for teachers. We demand urgent payment of the allowances due to teachers, failure of which will attract unimaginable fight back from teachers who have suffered enough.”
ZimStat public relations executive Roland Chiringa said he was not aware of the current developments regarding the payment of enumerators.
He referred all questions to ZimStat spokesperson Mercy Chidemo, who refused to comment on the issue.
“If it’s regarding that, I don’t have a comment, unless if it’s something else,” Chidemo said.