Teacher’s unions have denied working with British government in its alleged bid to overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa regime.
At a press conference held in Harare Monday, strongly distanced themselves from claims by a top 10 Downing Street official that they were helping Prime Minister Boris Johnson in trying to topple the Zanu PF leader.
British government minister Tariq Mahmoud Ahmad alleged that some teachers’ unions in Zimbabwe were collaborating with Britain to remove the government.
“We the undersigned teachers’ unions of Zimbabwe, disassociate ourselves from the statement made by the minister of State and member of the British House of Lords, a Mr Tariq Mahmoud Ahmad to the effect that he is working with Zimbabwe teacher unions in pursuit of regime change agenda,” the teachers unions said in a synchronised statement.
“We commit ourselves to the engagement of your government and any sitting government in future outside external influence and direction,” the statement, which was issued after their meeting with the Zimbabwe National Elders’ Forum (ZNEF) led by its chairperson Bishop Felix Mukonowengwe, reads.
The unions present whose representatives appended their signatures on the resolution letter included Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) CEO Sifiso Ndlovu, Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general Raymond Majongwe, Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (TUZ) Chivhuna Nyasha, Zimbabwe Rural Teachers’ Union (ZRTU) Wonder Nyapokoto, ZDTU’s Constance Mangani, ZINEU Charles Chinosengwa, ZINATU Manuel Nyawo and Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) Boris Muguti.
During the meeting, it came out that PTUZ and ARTUZ were mentioned by the British State minister, but the two unions dismissed Ahmad.
Majongwe said: “When the story of the externalisation was mentioned, PTUZ was flagged as one of the lead organisations in the exercise of regime change, something we categorically clear without any equivocation dismiss with the contempt it deserves because PTUZ has not been involved in any clandestine initiatives for any change regime.”
“All we have done is sticking to the principles of asking government intervention to find a solution for teachers so that they live a decent life. And this is being done within the confines of the law. We have done everything above board, and we have been seeking to engage with cabinet ministers, the Public Service Commission and the President,” Majongwe said.
“We dissociate ourselves from statements made in the House of Lords and there has not been any initiatives/activities and Zimbabwean intelligent network let them unearth where the PTUZ was involved and if we are guilty v, let the laws of the country be used against us because we have not done anything wrong,” added Majongwe.