Some schools send pupils home
Mbabane – The call by TUCOSWA for its affiliates to stay home today has been adhered to.
TUCOSWA denotes the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland and most of its affiliates are civil servants’ unions.
A stand-off has ensued after the call by the trade union that workers should today stay at their respective residential places and then engage in demontrstions tomorrow (Friday) in five different towns.
The demonstrations are expected to take place tomorrow in Manzini, Mbabane, Nhlangano, Pigg’s Peak and Siteki.
At the capital city, some pupils were seen heading back home in the morning as lessons did not proceed. The streets, unlike on normal days were somehow a bit quiet but some workers did go to work while shops seemed to operate as usual.
Lady-Howard Mabuza, the Minister of Education is reported to have indicated that schools will be operating normally on Thursday (today) and Friday amid the protest organized by the trade union.
“The Ministry of Education and Training is not aware of calls to close schools on Thursday 22nd and 23 September 2022.Therefore, teachers are expected to be at school and schools are expected to operate normally during these two days,” reads a statement released by the Ministry of Education on Wednesday.
However, Mbongwa Dlamini, the President of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) has publicly declared that teachers would participate in the mass protest organised by TUCOSWA.
“SNAT is affiliated to TUCOSWA so teachers will participate in the protest on Thursday and Friday,”said the SNAT President.
On another note, Bheki Mamba, TUCOSWA president further confirmed that on Thursday there would be a stay-away adding that on Friday there would be protests across the country.
“On Thursday there would be a stay away, people will stay-away, they are expected to be at home and there will be no transport. Then on Friday, there will be protests across the country,” said the TUCOSWA president.
In addition, TUCOSWA Secretary General, Mduduzi Gina, reportedly said the mass protest was legal and lawful and thus protected.
He said they followed all dictates of the law including all process as envisaged by Section 40 of the Industrial Relations Act, which was also supported by the SNAT president.
Gina said any attempt by an employer, including the government to scare workers through any other means would be unfortunate and could cause unnecessary tension in the workplace.