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ED’s first 5 months dogged by public service strikes

CONTENDER: EmmersonMnangagwa. 18/04/2012. © Sunday Times.

PUBLIC service strikes have characterised Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s first five months in power‚ providing a rallying point for the opposition.

While nurses have ended their two-week strike‚ a doctors’ strike has entered its fourth week. And teachers asking for a 100 percent increment are threatening to down tools if their demand is not met.

In a statement‚ the teachers say they are planning to march to Mnangagwa’s office on Tuesday. “The economic crisis‚ which also resulted in a biting cash crisis‚ has reduced our salaries to peanuts. Our income level is no longer commensurate with the cost of living‚ consequently teachers can no longer afford to pay for basic social services for their families‚” the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) said in a statement.

Last week‚ a threat by government to cut striking doctors’ salaries failed to break their strike‚ with Vice President Constantino Chiwenga subsequently reversing the threat. The strike is already affecting Mnangagwa’s presidential campaign.

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa cancelled her planned tour of Chitungwiza General Hospital‚ where numerous women promised free cervical cancer screening were left stranded.

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Gary Murambiwa
the authorGary Murambiwa