BY Chris Mahove

The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has requested an urgent meeting with the Public Service Commission to discuss the poor remuneration of its members in relation to the rising cost of living ahead of the opening of the third school term next week.

In a letter dated April 29, 2019, addressed to the chairperson of the Public Service Commission (PSC) Vincent Hungwe, PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said the union was restless and morale was at its lowest after price increases reached alarming proportions.

“PTUZ is requesting for an urgent meeting to discuss the serious challenges facing teachers as schools are set to re-open next week. The latest price increases of goods and services have reached alarming proportions,” Majongwe wrote in the letter which was copied to the Primary and Secondary Education and Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ministries. He said the PSC should engage unions and associations to chart the way forward.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s neo-liberal, free-market approach to the economy has come back to haunt him as the frequent price hikes leave many citizens agitated.

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Last week, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga told a conference at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair that business was engaging in “economic terrorism” by raising prices unjustifiably. He threatened that government would deal with them.

There has been a wave of price increases of basic goods in the country over the past few months with some commodities having gone up by as much as 200% as retailers pegged prices basing on the black market rate of the RTGS dollar to the United States dollar.