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Zimbabwe PM Tsvangirai Says Government Committed to the Welfare of Teachers

Zimbabwe Teachers Association Acting Chief Executive Officer Sifiso Ndlovu said Prime Minister Tsvangirai's statement was constructive, but he said it is unfortunate that the government has not set a definite time frame for raising salaries

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told members of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association on Wednesday in a statement read by a spokesman at the group’s annual meeting that the government is committed to ensuring that teacher salaries reflect their profession's critical role and their key place in national development.

Speaking on behalf of Mr. Tsvangirai, Minister of State Gorden Moyo declared that there “is no more important priority for this or any government than the education of our children."

Mr. Tsvangirai said in his statement that Zimbabwe's natural resources form the basis of government revenues if they are exploited in a proper and transparent way. This appeared to be a reference to the development of the Marange diamond field in Manicaland province which has been cloaked in secrecy - and which state workers see as a potential source of revenues to enable the state to increase their marginal salaries.

ZIMTA Acting Chief Executive Officer Sifiso Ndlovu told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the teachers welcomed Mr. Tsvangirai's message to the conference, which he said was constructive. But he bemoaned the government’s inability to commit itself to a specific time frame for increasing salaries.