TEACHERS DEFY, WARN GOVT
Government should know that fighting teachers is not different from fighting the nation or the populace and that is very dangerous.”
Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) has stated that it was aware of all the tactics government was using to silent them.
Justice Dlamini, who was the programme director during the Teachers Day celebrations held at King Sobhuza II Memorial Stadium in Nhlangano, yesterday said despite being molders and shapers of society, teachers are being treated like outcasts in the Kingdom.
SNAT went ahead to celebrate the World Teachers Day despite government through the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education Dr Sibongile Mtshali having advised the organisation to use another day (preferable a weekend) as yesterday was a school day and teachers were supposed to be in class.
Dlamini said they were not going to be silenced when demanding what they are rightly entitled to as teachers.
“We are considered a threat when we are not.
When we request what we feel we deserve, we are called this and that. They treat us with contempt and they think this is going to make us develop weak knees. They hate us with passion and this is the reason we are even assaulted when we embark on a peaceful protest. It should be clear and known that those fighting teachers are fighting the populace,” said Dlamini.
Pat Mamba who represented the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) condemned the way government was treating teachers and the civil servants in general. He said government does not take civil servants serious in their demand for a 6.5 per cent Cost of Living Adjustment.
He said instead government decided to negotiate in bad faith.
“When teachers or civil servants start to make noise about what they deserve, government makes all means to have us silenced. When we get granted permission to stage protest matches and lawful strike action, government decides to set the security agencies against us. This government does not respect even court rulings.
The same government which should lead the way by respecting court rulings, it fails to do that and defies courts of the land,” said Mamba.
Mamba then thanked SNAT for being a loyal and honest affiliate as it was an organisation in good standing and TUCOSWA considered the organisation as a pillar to it (TUCOSWA).
The Teachers Day was dominated by mostly toy-toy and singing of political songs.