Rural teachers in Zimbabwe are on strike, demanding that bonuses be paid. The government claims it is unable to pay the teachers the money owed to them, despite frequent promises and has instead suggested giving them shares, which may or may not yield an income further down the line or plots for houses. This plan has been roundly rejected by the teachers.
Teachers' leaders point out that there was no shortage of money when it came to funding a 93rd birthday party for the President, Robert Mugabe, saying they have been following the zeal used to raise that money 'with disdain and utter disgust.' To add salt to the wound, all schools in one province of the country are closed today to make way for the bash.
This is the latest in a long campaign by rural teachers to be paid properly for the very difficult conditions in which they have to work. In the past security forces have violently attacked protests by the teachers. According to the facebook page of the union leading this struggle ARTUZ, pressure is being put on teachers not to join with them. However the page indicates that teachers are taking part in the job action in 'overwhelming numbers'.