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Zimbabwe President Mugabe Apologizes to Civil Servants for Poor Salaries

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has apologized to civil servants, teachers in particular, for the government’s failure to adjust their salaries in line with the high cost of living.

Speaking at a children’s independence party this week, Mr. Mugabe said government took responsibility, but heaped blame on Western sanctions that he said were making it difficult for the country to sell its diamonds on the international markets.

Civil servants are demanding a minimum wage of $538.00 a month.

Apex Council chairperson Tendai Chikowore told VOA's Jonga Kandemiiri her union accepted the president’s apology, adding she hoped the unity government would soon address their plight.

Chikowore is also president of the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association, or ZIMTA.

On the other hand, Takavafira Zhou of the militant Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe said his union did not appreciate Mugabe's apology.

Zhou argued that Harare had too much resources at its disposal which could be exploited to improve educators' living conditions.