Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 2-Zimbabwe government workers plan pay protest as economy slumps


UPDATE 2-Zimbabwe government workers plan pay protest as economy slumps
Image Credit: Wikipedia

Government workers in Zimbabwe on Thursday announced plans for a "massive" protest march next week to press for higher wages, as the finance minister said the economy would this year fall into recession for the first time since 2008. Zimbabweans are experiencing daily hardships with the prices of basic goods, fuel, and electricity soaring, while the Zimbabwe dollar continues to weaken against the U.S. dollar.

That has dimmed hopes of a quick economic recovery under President Emmerson Mnagagwa, who took power after the late Robert Mugabe was ousted in a coup in 2017. The Apex Council of public sector unions said the government had not responded to its demands for U.S. dollar-indexed salaries to cushion workers against inflation that economists say reached 380% in September.

The unions said on Oct. 15. that the worst economic crisis in a decade - marked by 18-hour power cuts, soaring prices, and shortages of foreign currency, fuel, and medicines - meant they were unable to go to work. "As a consequence of the above, the Apex Council is calling upon all civil servants to prepare for a massive protest march," the council said.

In a letter to labor minister Sekai Nzenza, the union chair Cecilia Alexander and her deputy Thomas Muzondo said the demonstration would be held on Wednesday when they would hand a petition to the government. Nzenza did not respond to calls seeking comment.

Surging inflation has brought back memories of the horrors of a decade ago when 500 billion percent hyperinflation wiped out savings and forced the government to abandon its currency. The planned march is a test for Mnangagwa, who is accused of using his predecessor's heavy-handed tactics to stifle dissent after banning several opposition protests.

Critics say Mnangagwa, 76, lacks the commitment to political reforms and tackling corruption but he has pleaded for time to bring the economy back. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube earlier told lawmakers that the economy is set to shrink by 6.5% this year - its first contraction in a decade - after a drought and power shortages.

Ncube said water in the Kariba Dam, which can produce 1,050 MW, was so low that "we are dangerously close to a level where we have to cut off power generation". Kariba was producing 122 MW on Thursday. Zimbabwe would spend more than $300 million to import 840,000 tonnes of maize after the drought left more than half the population in need of food aid, said Ncube.

He said the economy was projected to recover and grow 3% next year on the expectation that there would be better rains to power agriculture as well as improved foreign exchange inflows and electricity generation. Power cuts have hit industry and mining, the biggest export earner. Earnings from mining fell to $1.9 billion between January and September this year, from $2.4 billion during the same period in 2018, central bank governor John Mangudya said.

Also Read: Python coils around man's neck, saved by other workers

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

JNU Administration's 100-meter challenge before JNUSU

For the first time in its history, Jawaharlal Nehru University JNU Administration is seeking permanent deployment of local police to keep protesting students at 100 meters away from the Administrative Block. It would be interesting to see h...

Sentiment Analysis of Twitter users during COP25: Governments losing trust on Climate Action

Sentiment analysis of Twitter users during COP25 in Madrid, being held from December 2-13, shows widespread fear on climate change due to global warming but almost no trust on governments in meeting the emission targets. In the analysis the...

These innovators are making humanitarian response more efficient

These alarming trends prompt a call for the world to not only address the ongoing crisis but also to adopt innovative approaches to fulfill the growing humanitarian needs in such emergencies. ...

Hyderabad Encounter: A sentiment analysis of public mood on day of encounter

Sentiment analysis of twitter users revealed that they showered salutes on Hyderabad police for eliminating alleged gang rapists of the veterinary doctor but only a few believe in cops version of successive events leading to encounter....

Videos

Latest News

UP: Former cricketer Praveen Kumar allegedly thrashes man, minor boy in inebriated condition

A man alleged that his neighbour and former cricketer Praveen Kumar, who was in an inebriated condition, has thrashed him and pushed his seven-year-old son in Uttar Pradeshs Meerut. After intervening into the matter, Superintendent of Polic...

No luck in search for remaining bodies on New Zealand volcano

Wellington, Dec 15 AFP Search teams returned to New Zealands volcanic White Island on Sunday but there was no sign of two bodies still unaccounted for after last weeks eruption, as police released the names of four more victims. Of the 47 p...

Thousands rally in Bangkok to protest against dissolution of opposition party

Thousands of people took to streets in Bangkok in a show of major protest after authorities moved to ban a party that has rallied opposition to the government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha. Saturdays rally took place just days after T...

Athletics-Kipchoge to make return at April's London Marathon

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge has chosen Aprils London Marathon for his first race since becoming the first person to run a marathon in under two hours, organizers said on Sunday. Kipchoge, who ran one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds in a special r...

Give Feedback