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The Rapid Intervention Unit of the Republic of Mozambique Police used tear gas this morning to disperse workers from Eduardo Mondlane University who have been on strike since yesterday in Maputo.
Workers who were mutinous in the vicinity of the Rectory building of this largest institution of higher education in Mozambique, demanding the payment of the bonus of effectiveness, were forced to leave the place due to the effects of gas. The same happened with the students who were in the place in search of information on the recurrence tests that were supposed to take place this week, meanwhile affected by the strike.
At the moment, the UEM campus is without anyone. Our report found on the spot that a meeting of the coordinating council of Eduardo Mondlane University is taking place.
Demonstrators have been demanding the payment of their bonuses since last November, but due to insufficient funds, the largest university in the country has not yet been able to pay them, which yesterday paralysed the activities of the institution
In a communication made late yesterday afternoon, the first day of the strike, the Vice-Rector of the institution, Armindo Daniel Tiago, acknowledged that UEM faces problems in several areas of operation, such as the reduction of teaching and learning activities, investigation. “Therefore, it is not only the [UEM’s] Technical Administrative Body (CTA) that resents these cuts. It’s the whole university, “explains the Vice Rector.
The interruption is also jeopardising the recurrence tests in some faculties, since the staff closed the students’ access to the Central Library Brazão Mazula and to the classrooms.
The doors of almost all the departments and services are closed and their would-be occupants demonstrate before the building of the Rectory, chanting songs and wielding couplets.
The Effectiveness Bonus, according to workers’ spokesperson António Mazima, should have been paid in November as in other years, but it was not due to financial difficulties and did not materialise during the first quarter of this year, as promised.
Following contacts initiated by a letter from the workers, UEM Rector Orlando Quilambo instructed the directors of each of the university’s bodies / functional units to explain the situation the university is going through, which makes it impossible to pay the bonus of effectiveness.
In 2015, the payment of this benefit represented 14 percent of the payroll, corresponding to 17.4 million meticais for 1027 employees and last year it stood for 17 percent, comprising 1118 people, corresponding to 20.9 million meticais.
In a document made known to officials, the university explains that other cuts are being made, in particular overtime to teachers, fuel and mobile phone subsidy and the increase in meal prices, bed in the residence of students.
However, as our newspaper learned, strikers ask for the Rector’s intervention and claim priority in solving their problems, since they guarantee the functioning of the university, but are always sidelined.
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