The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) outgoing president Richard Gundane has said the selection of the organisation’s leaders is transparent and democratic and urged members to guard against manipulative leaders.
Speaking during his remarks to the ZIMTA 39th Extraordinary National Conference in Harare on Monday morning, Gundane said the Indaba will address the leadership question during Tuesday’s elections.
He said it was important for the teachers’ body to focus on leadership renewal.
Gundane also noted that the macroeconomic environment in the last four years was heavily stacked against the ZIMTA, whose income base dwindled due to currency volatility and organic degeneration of membership.
“Our base year 2019 saw negative effects after 2018 fiscal policy changes that caused devaluation of the ZWL (RTGS) via inflation. The year 2020 started with disruptions caused by Covid-19 and associated geopolitical instabilities, which set the stage for elevated inflationary pressures and global financial conditions marked by interest rate hikes,” he said.
Gundane added: The Russian-Ukrainian war increased the vulnerability of developing economies like ours. 2021-2022 was again characterised by high inflation and volatile foreign exchange rate. In these years, inflation rose from two-digit to three-digit figures, moving from fifty-six percent (56%) in 2021 to two hundred and forty-four percent (244%) in December 2022.
“The foregoing show how ZIMTA’s purchasing power was eroded, thereby weakening it in terms of addressing mandates and therefore forcing us to prioritise and deprioritise execution of mandates.”
The ZIMTA president said the conference is being attended by 150 delegates from six hundred fifty-seven (657) branches, seventy-three (73) districts and ten (10) provinces.
He said the conference was organised under a backdrop of financial challenges and force majeure (unforeseeable circumstances by act of God).
“The past four (4) years saw the disruption of school activities, ZIMTA functions, administrative mandates, and lives and livelihoods. The Covid-19 pandemic was a devastating experience and at its onset, we were already smarting from the effects of climate-induced challenges as reflected in Cyclone Idai”