Representatives of Zimbabwe's striking civil servants said Tuesday that at least 75 percent of the work force has joined the industrial action since Friday.
Deputy Executive Secretary Jeremiah Bvirindi of the Public Service Association of Zimbabwe said the majority of striking workers were in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Masvingo, Gweru and a number of smaller towns.
VOA was unable to reach Public Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro or any other government official qualified to comment on the situation.
Bvirindi told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that the government has not tabled new salary offers since the strike was declared.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association Chief Executive Officer Sifiso Ndlovu said public servants had urged the government to raise funds for salary increases by marketing the diamonds coming out of the controversial Marange field in Manicaland province, scene of alleged rights abuses and corruption.
“The government should not tell us that it does not have money, instead they have to tell us that they are in the process of looking for buyers of diamonds in order to finance the civil service salary bill,” said Ndlovu.
Analysts said strike threatened the economy and the fragile unity government.
Civil Society Monitoring Mechanism Coordinator Dzimbabwe Chimbga told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that the strike could scare away investors and further delay the process of constitutional revision.
Chimbga, whose organization was constituted to monitor the government’s performance, said the strike reflected its failure to deliver results.