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faces mass protests
Muleya, Business Day (SA)
ZIMBABWE is facing
the most widespread strikes and protests by discontented soldiers,
public servants and impoverished workers since independence in 1980.
The ground swell
of discontent poses a serious threat to President Robert Mugabe’s
regime if the reported disturbances within the army, a strike by
doctors and nurses, a go-slow by teachers, and threats of protests
by public servants and students erupt into a nationwide antigovernment
Last week opposition
groups in the country’s second major city, Bulawayo, staged unannounced
marches against Mugabe’s attempt to extend his term of office to
by political and economic instability for seven years now, began
the year with strikes by doctors and nurses protesting against low
salaries and poor working conditions.
A junior doctor
earns Z$56000 (about R100) and a nurse Z$35000 (about R60) a month.
An average worker
earns about Z$20000 (R33) a month.
are seeking Z$5m (R8000) a month, with benefits such as accommodation
and car loans.
medical staff and the government have collapsed, leaving thousands
barely treated in hospitals and clinics.
Three male nurses
at Harare Central Hospital were last week arrested on allegations
of inciting their colleagues at Parirenyatwa Hospital to go on strike.
Oliver Mandipaka said the three had incited their colleagues to
embark on an "illegal industrial action" and warned that
police would crush any protests against the government. Many police
officers earn as little as R33 a month.
The army has also
been hit by a spate of desertions and resignations, and corruption
is rife. It has reportedly ordered an investigation into the unrest
by trainee soldiers. It is understood the army is treating this
as a near mutiny.
earn Z$21000, a mere R35 a month.
Thousands of teachers
across the country have joined a go-slow strike campaign against
the low salaries they earn.
National Students’ Union has threatened a class boycott if the
government fails to withdraw controversial increases of 300%-2000%
in tuition fees.
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