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Wave Of Labor Unrest In Zimbabwe Symptom Of Failing State - Analysts

Zimbabwe has been experiencing almost continual labor strife since the beginning of 2007, with a strike by junior hospital doctors, a walkout by workers at the troubled state power company, and most recently a work stoppage by hospital nurses.

The three-week strike by junior hospital residents, joined later by senior residents, has defied resolution efforts by Zimbabwe Health Minister David Parirenyatwa and left the already overburdened state hospital system in turmoil.

Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority workers staged a strike last week and blackouts simultaneously hit the country - though their union denied industrial sabotage.

Rumors of impending strikes by teachers and civil servants have led the government to put police and army units across the country on high alert, sources say.

Labor disputes are common in Zimbabwe, where hyper-inflation has been driving the cost of living higher at an annual rate around 1,000% for the past half year.

But political analysts considering the latest round of labor unrest say it is symptomatic of a prolonged political crisis, a staggering economy and a failing state.

Reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 For Zimbabwe sought the views of two political analysts: Pedzisayi Ruhanya, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition programs manager, and Gordon Moyo, executive direct of the Bulawayo Agenda.

Moyo, currently pursuing studies in peace and conflict at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom, says it is clear that Zimbabwe is a failing state.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 For Zimbabwe...