Zim workers demand dollars

Zimbabwean flag. File picture
Zimbabwean flag. File picture
Image: Natanael Alfredo Nemanita Ginting

Zimbabwe’s public sector workers will join a growing strike if the government does not agree to pay them in US dollars, the main civil service union said on Wednesday.

Doctors and some teachers have already staged walk-outs, saying they need the hard cash payments to protect them against inflation and a currency crunch – piling pressure on Emmerson Mnangagwa less than five months into his contested presidency.

The Apex Council, representing 16 public sector unions, said it had given the government the required twoweek notice of industrial action on Tuesday.

“If they do not pay us in US dollars or an equivalent, we are going on a fully fledged strike,” Apex deputy chair Thomas Muzondo said.

Cash shortages have plunged Zimbabwe’s financial system into disarray, threatening social unrest and undermining Mnangagwa’s efforts to win back foreign investors sidelined under his predecessor Robert Mugabe.

With not enough hard currency to back up funds in bank accounts, the value of electronic money has plummeted.

Public Service Commission chair Vincent Hungwe said the government planned to make an offer by Thursday.