Zimbabwe teachers to strike over low pay

The planned strike by more than 100,000 teachers comes shortly after Mnangagwa cut short his annual vacation to try and end a month-long strike by state doctors demanding higher salaries and improved work conditions.

Picture: Freeimages.com

HARARE - Teachers in Zimbabwe's public schools will go on strike from Wednesday to press for better pay, union leaders announced, as President Emmerson Mnangagwa faces growing labour unrest over the country's dire economy.

The planned strike by more than 100,000 teachers comes shortly after Mnangagwa cut short his annual vacation to try and end a month-long strike by state doctors demanding higher salaries and improved work conditions.

"We have declared that teachers will not be able to report for duty," Richard Gundani, president of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), told AFP.

"Our earnings have been eroded. This is unsustainable."

Doctors and teachers have demanded that they are paid in US dollars rather than the local "bond note" currency that is in theory worth the same as greenbacks but trades at a far weaker level.

Zimbabwe's economy has been on a downturn for over a decade with shortages of cash, high unemployment and an investor exodus.

The public sector wage bill accounts for 90 percent of the country's revenues, and the government has vowed to cut government salaries.

Mnangagwa, who took over from long-time ruler Robert Mugabe and won a disputed election last year, has pledged to revive the moribund economy and end the country's international isolation

Long queues have become a regular feature at fuel stations as motorists waiting to buy fuel, which is in short supply.