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Zimbabwe arrests protesting teachers

Nine members of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), who have been marching from Mutare to Harare demanding salaries in United States dollars, were arrested in Macheke yesterday.

Protesting teachers arrested
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Protesting teachers arrested

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In this Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 photo, teachers hold banners during a protest against the high cost of living, in Zimbabwe's capital Harare.   One year ago the unthinkable happened in Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe fell from power. A year later Zimbabwe's economic problems have worsened and restrictions on basic freedoms remain, bringing some Zimbabweans to ask 'What has changed?' (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) © AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi In this Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 photo, teachers hold banners during a protest against the high cost of living, in Zimbabwe's capital Harare. One year ago the unthinkable happened in Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe fell from power. A year later Zimbabwe's economic problems have worsened and restrictions on basic freedoms remain, bringing some Zimbabweans to ask 'What has changed?' (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Nine members of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), who have been marching from Mutare to Harare demanding salaries in United States dollars, were arrested in Macheke yesterday.

According to ARTUZ spokesperson Macdonald Kondo, who escaped the arrests, police in Marondera called the marchers and ordered them not to proceed with their programme claiming it was in violation of the Public Order and Security Act (Posa).

“Just after Macheke, anti-riot police from Marondera arrived and blocked the road, saying what we were doing was illegal,” he said.

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“A clash erupted resulting in the participants being forced into police cars and taken to Macheke Police Station. As for now, they are charged with violating Posa.”

According to Kondo, those detained included ARTUZ president Obert Masaraure, secretary-general Robson Chere, Gerald Takawira, Godfrey Chanda, Christine Jubane, Takemore Mhlanga, Regai Chinhuto, Brenda Musavengana and Taurai Boots.

Close to 100 ARTUZ members are marching from Mutare to Harare demanding government to pay teachers in US dollars as well as giving them full bonus payouts.

They started the march last week and hoped to finish the 270km walk in 10 days.

“We have engaged lawyers from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to assist us,” Kondo said from Macheke.

The teachers were later taken to Marondera by the police.

Mashonaland East provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tendai Mwanza said he was yet to receive a report about the arrests yesterday evening.

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