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Leaders of Striking Zimbabwean Civil Servants Take Bearings in Harare Meeting

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe President Takavafira Zhou told VOA that unions and other representative organizations meeting in Harare agreed their target is the state employer, not any single political party

Unions and other organizations representing Zimbabwe's striking civil servants met in Harare on Tuesday to evaluate the industrial action by public employees called on February 5 to back demands for salary increases.

Sources said the meeting also took up the issue of political partisanship that was threatening to derail the strike following charges that some organizations representing civil servants were aligning with political parties.

Civil servants are demanding an entry salary of US$630 a month, but the government says it cannot afford to effect such an increase.

Reached by VOA, the government’s chief representative in the talks, Youth Ministry Permanent Secretary Prince Mupazviriho, said that as a civil servant he could not discuss the current state of labor discussions.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe President Takavafira Zhou told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that participants in the meeting agreed that their target is the state employer, not any single political party.

VOA Studio 7 correspondent Arthur Chigoriwa reported from Chinhoyi, the capital of Mashonaland West province, that civil servants there have vowed to continue with their strike until the government agrees to give them living wages, but that some divisions within the movement have appeared.

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