Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has told unions and other representatives of public sector workers that the government overestimated the revenues it might obtain from the sale of diamonds from the Marange field in the east of the country, so it cannot afford to boost wages right now as civil servants have long been demanding.
Sources present at this week's meeting with the prime minister said he committed himself to organizing a discussion between Finance Minister Tendai Biti and public worker representatives. Last month state workers protested over a lack of dialogue with senior government officials about salaries. They want a base pay of US$500 a month.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association Acting Chief Executive Sifiso Ndlovu told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the teacher representatives do not see themselves encouraging a strike for now.
But Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe President Takavafira Zhou said PTUZ leaders will consult members on as to what course of action the union should take over the continued public sector pay freeze.
Most state workers are only being paid about US$170 a month.