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Mixed Reactions Over Zimbabwe National Protest

FILE: Schoolchildren run past a burning barricade, following a job boycott called via social media platforms, in Harare, Wednesday, July,6, 2016.

There have been mixed feelings over the impact of national protests staged yesterday by civic society leaders with some people saying this has forced the government to fast-track the payment of civil servants’ salaries.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe’s provincial spokesperson Rosten Mutapwa told Studio 7 that politically the stay away had an immediate impact as this appears to have forced the government to bring forward pay dates of civil servants’ outstanding salaries.

Indications are that teachers were paid today as promised by the government. Workers in the health sector are set to receive salaries Friday instead of next week.

Mutapwa said they started the stay away on Tuesday and other sectors that depend on civil servants like vendors joined yesterday.

A man, who took part in the national protest and wanted to be identified only as Clifford, said government is panicking at the moment following the protests.

Clever Chogugudza, a resident of Ruvimbo high density suburb in Chinhoyi, said politically it was a victory for the demonstrators as it forced President Robert Mugabe to promptly organize a rally in Bindura on Friday where he is expected to speak on issues affecting Zimbabweans.

Report Filed By Arthur Chigoriwa
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But another Chinhoyi resident, Stewart Mangaire, said as much as the stay away was a success nothing is likely to change soon.

Mangaire said the current political leadership will not listen like they always do.

Chinhoyi-based social and economic commentator, Edmore Mazarure, said stay always will worsen the already bad situation and will not solve anything.

Mazarure said instead of staying away, people should demand what they want.

Mutapwa said the stay away is the beginning of more stay aways as long as the government continues to change pay dates.

Meanwhile, it was business as usual today in Chinhoyi although some shops opened a little bit late because they were not quite sure whether the stay away was still on.

Nurses at Chinhoyi Hospital did not report for duty today as patients were being turned away in large numbers.