Varsity lecturers down tools

Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
All State university lecturers and support staff have gone on strike over Government’s failure to pay them last year’s bonuses and their January salaries on time.The strike called yesterday is set to deal a major blow to most of the institutions which opened recently.

State universities in Zimbabwe include the University of Zimbabwe, Harare Institute of Technology, Bindura University of Science Education, Midlands State University, Chinhoyi University of Technology, National University of Science and Technology, Great Zimbabwe University, Lupane State University and Zimbabwe Open University.

The lecturers, who are members of the umbrella body Zimbabwe State Universities Union of Academics (ZISUUA), met at NUST in Bulawayo yesterday where they resolved that they would only return to work when they are paid their bonuses and January salaries.

They also demanded that their pay dates be fixed, rather than be subjected to sporadic salary payments.

Speaking to The Herald after yesterday’s meeting, ZISUUA president Mr Alois Muzvuwe said all lecturers and non-teaching staff had suffered for too long.

“We are borrowing money to send our children to school; our landlords are demanding rentals and we don’t have fuel to go to work. As such, we are incapacitated to continue reporting for duty until we are paid our bonuses and January salary,” he said.

“As ZISUUA we met today (yesterday) and declared that we are incapacitated to continue going to work on empty stomachs, so we have agreed that all State university employees — both teaching and non-teaching staff, starting today cannot afford to report for duty.

“This also follows observations that all State universities’ councils who employ university workers are neglecting their duty of paying employees salaries when they are due.”

In a memo written to all chairpersons of the State University Councils yesterday, Mr Muzvuwe said following a meeting by worker representatives, both teaching and non-teaching staff noted that other civil servants had received their bonuses and January salaries while they struggled to make ends meet.