The non-violent protest by rural teachers and the generality of ordinary citizens who are reeling under the gruesome effects of the man-made economic meltdown in Zimbabwe will enter its third edition this Friday, 27 October 2017.
Dubbed #PocketsOut, #HomwePanze, #IzikhwamaPandle, the protest aims to mobilize citizens who are suffering due to the incessant cash crisis which has seen hundreds of thousands of ordinary people sleeping in bank queues days on end but still failing to access their cash.
Obert Masaraure, the President of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said the economic situation was compounded by the increase of the prices of basic commodities such as maize meal, cooking oil, washing powder and soap, which have gone up by up to 75%, thus further eroding the paltry salaries which rural teachers are getting as well as the generality of the ordinary citizens. With an ongoing ruthless clampdown on vendors countrywide, the prospects of ordinary people to get a dollar to live by are becoming impossible.
“As the campaign continue to gather momentum, the policy makers are starting to panic and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor recently met with Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) leaders to discuss the issue of the cash crisis and how it impacts on rural teachers as well as recommendations tabled by the union.
“However, it was apparent from the meeting that the RBZ and the government lacks the competence, commitment and political will to solve the crisis which they are after all guilty of authoring. It is against this background that the union has continued its coordinating drive to keep pushing the #PocketsOut campaign as the union drives towards much more radical nonviolent mass actions in the new year (2018,” Masaraure said.
The third instalment of the protest has already received endorsement and solidarity messages from activists across the globe who continue to stand by the people of Zimbabwe during this time of great distress.
This edition aims to double the number of teachers and ordinary citizens participating and also increase their visibility by collecting the picture and messages into a short video that will be broadcast via the union’s social media accounts.
“ARTUZ urges its members to remain steadfast as dark forces of the state have already started to intimidate and threaten union leader across the provinces as a result of coordinating this peaceful campaign. We will continue to report incidences of threats as well as to name and shame the culprits. Our key message in this third instalment is ‘With your Pockets out; go register to vote.’”