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Harare Bolsters Teacher Compensation Ahead of Rural Elections

Zimbabwean teachers struggling with soaring living costs have gotten some relief from the government in the form of increased allowances for transport and housing.

President Robert Mugabe announced the increased allowances at a ceremony on the weekend in Gweru, the capital of Midlands province, as he donated 100 computers to 10 Midlands schools. Officials said monthly transport and housing allowances were to rise more than threefold to Z$16,000 (US$64) and Z$22,000 (US$88), respectively.

President Mugabe said teachers' base salaries would also be reviewed, adding that teachers deserve respect and proper compensation given their key role in society.

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said the raises were welcome but long overdue. Secretary General Raymond Majongwe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the government had rolled out the increases to influence the rural district council elections coming up later this month.

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