Zim civil servants strike for 150% pay rise
Harare - Civil servants in Zimbabwe on Wednesday began an indefinite strike, demanding a pay hike of at least 150% and action against militants targeting teachers in rural areas.
The public sector industrial action is particularly strong among teachers, who have borne the brunt of the violence.
But the government in Harare insisted it had no spare resources to fund any increase in civil servant pay.
"We are all aware of the situation of the civil servants. The cabinet is willing to address the situation of civil service but you must appreciate that for that to happen you must have money in the treasury. It must be sustainable," said Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo, Zimbabwe's acting finance minister told German press agency dpa.
Sipepa-Nkomo added that Harare was hoping to flush-out so-called "ghost workers", teachers at work but not actually teaching, before conducting a review of salaries.
But Raymond Majongwe, secretary general of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, said: "That is not our business to manage the economy. We have diamonds, uranium and so many minerals. Where is that money going? They are busy enriching themselves at our expense."
Earlier this year, President Robert Mugabe promised all civil servants a 100% pay increase using proceeds from sales of diamonds.