A Masvingo Magistrates Court has jailed an Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) executive member, Sheila Chisirimunhu (pictured), for an effective ten (10) months for participating in a teachers’ protest for the restoration of their salaries to US$520.
Chisirimunhu, who is ARTUZ Masvingo province gender secretary, was arrested together with ARTUZ president Obert Masaraure over the June 22 protest in Masvingo.
Masaraure announced Chisirimunhu’s jailing, which the union is urgently appealing in the High Court against.
“Today I officially cancel all holiday plans. The judiciary convicted my Cde Sheila Chisirimunhu and sentenced her to effective 10 months in prison,” Masaraure announced. “Cde Sheila participated in a peaceful gathering demanding a salary raise. This ruling confirms that we are now back to Rhodesia governance! From today until Sheila is released we will be protesting in Masvingo daily. The evil men and women running our country should know no peace!”
In October, it was reported that during the trial, the three state witnesses in the case (all police officers) told the prosecutors that they did not know Masaraure and were unaware of reasons for his arrest. The prosecutor wrote to Law & Order Section (which had made the arrests) inquiring why they had arrested him. Law & Order claimed to have seen a picture of him on the social media.
Masaraure said ARTUZ members would be protesting in Masvingo until Chisirimunhu has been released.