AMALGAMATED Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) president Obert Masaraure was arrested in Harare yesterday and immediately transferred to Masvingo, where he is expected to stand trial for an illegal demonstration he led early this week.
Artuz spokesperson Nation Mudzitirwa said human rights lawyer Tonderai Bhatasara would represent him in Masvingo.
“The arrest follows the June 22 demonstration by Artuz members in Masvingo, demanding US dollar salaries. It’s shocking that the State would criminalise genuine union activities guaranteed by the law and basic labour rights,” Mudzitirwa said.
“We maintain that president Obert Masaraure is not a criminal, but a unionist fighting for labour justice. Unionism is not a crime and, therefore, we demand his immediate and unconditional release.”
He added: “As a union, we will continue to fight for pro-poor education and a living wage indexed at US$520 as per the collective bargaining.”
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone went unanswered.