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Zimbabwe Teachers Association Says Politics Hindering Wage Talks

Salary negotiations between the Zimbabwe Teachers Association and the government stalled this week after the government failed to send a representative to a meeting scheduled to take place on Wednesday, Zimbabwe Teachers Association sources said Thursday.

The teachers union, which called off a strike late last month, said that it was now unlikely any meeting with the government would be held until the question of of teachers' salaries is taken up by the three three principals in the inclusive government - President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

ZIMTA Acting Chief Executive Officer Sifiso Ndlovu told reporter Chris Gande of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that politics has been getting in the way of negotiations.

VOA was unable to reach a senior Education Ministry official for comment on ZIMTA's version of events or its complaint that the negotiating process has become politicized.

ZIMTA called off its strike amid reports that militants of the former ruling ZANU-PF party were pressuring teachers who had continued to go to work to heed the strike call. The union was long considered to be aligned with the former ZANU-PF government than the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, a rival organization generally seen as closer to the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe…