Union leader booted out over Zanu PF links

Obert Masaraure

The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) has suspended one of its members in Masvingo over suspected links to Zanu PF shadowy groups.

Artuz Masvingo provincial spokesperson Kudakwashe Runeso was given the marching orders last week after it emerged that he was participating in activities organised by Zanu PF’s shadowy groups.

A number of shadowy groups such as the Teachers4ED have been formed to push for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s re-election.

One of the groups, Friends Association of Zimbabwe (FAZ), has links to the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

A suspension letter addressed to Runesu seen by this publication said the union leader was being removed from his post with immediate effect pending further investigations.

“Having received a report from Masvingo provincial leadership on your involvement in working with retrogressive groupings created by the state to thwart and undermine unions, a decision of you being suspended from being an Artuz member and from your current position as the Masvingo provincial spokesperson has been adopted,” the letter reads.

“This suspension is with immediate effect and you shall be served with dates and all relevant material to prepare for your disciplinary hearing.”

Artuz president Obert Masaraure confirmed Runesu’s suspension, but remained tight-lipped over the “retrogressive grouping” Runesu was working with.

“I am told by our secretary general (Robson Chere) that they received a recommendation to suspend the member from Masvingo province,” he said.

“It is alleged that the member was engaging in conduct that is inimical to the values of the union.

“Investigations are ongoing and a disciplinary hearing will be conducted."

The Artuz has been at the forefront in the fight for United States dollar salaries for teachers.

Artuz is demanding at least US$1 000 for the least paid teacher to make ends meet. Teachers are earning about ZW$200 000 and a Covid-19 allowance of  US$250.

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