I have been arrested and detained several times whilst fighting for the rights of the marginalized rural teachers, but that will not stop me from advocating for their rights.
Obert Masaraure is the National President of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), which works to defend the labour rights of teachers and to protect schools, students and teachers from political interference and manipulation. He provides leadership and direction for the organization and leads networking and communication on behalf of the Union.
Teachers in Zimbabwe, particularly in rural areas of the country, are not paid well and often not on time. They must grapple with inadequate facilities, lack of electricity and poor sanitation. The government has dismally failed to upgrade schools in the countryside. Under these conditions, many teachers are reluctantly abandoning the profession.
Faced with this crisis, Obert organized ARTUZ to give teachers a voice and to begin correcting these wrongs. ARTUZ has a membership of about 35,000; it has challenged the government to address the miserable salaries and working conditions that rural teachers have to endure, and to provide decent accommodations and trainings.
ARTUZ is a registered Trade Union defending the right to education in rural areas of Zimbabwe and labour rights. The Union advances the interests of teachers in rural schools.