Zimbabwe government workers to stage pay protest as economy plummet

Zimbabwe’s economy has been noted to plunge this year with its citizens facing unprecedented hardship even as government workers plan to stage a revolt over a pay on November 6.

In a letter to Zimbabwe Labour Minister Sekai Nzenza from the Apex Council of public sector Union said the demonstration would be held on Wednesday when they would hand a petition to government.

“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.

The union 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.

According to the union, the government failed to respond to them over what it termed as the worst economic crisis in a decade, marked by 18-hour power cuts, soaring prices and shortage of foreign currency, fuel and medicine which meant that they were unable to work.

This shows a tough struggle for President Emmerson Mnagangwa who took over from late former president Robert Mugabe who was ousted in a coup in 2017.

Rise in inflation takes back Zimbabweans years back when they experienced more than 400 percent hyperinflation that wiped out savings and forced the government to overlook its currency.

President Mnagangwa is however faced with a challenge of reviving the economy he has pledged to, with some critics accusing him of using Mugabe’s tactics of banning opposition protests.

According to this year’s World Bank report, extreme poverty is estimated to have risen from 29 percent in 2018 to 34 percent in 2019 and increase from 4.7 to 5.7 million people.

The increase has been driven by a shrink in the economy and an acute rise in food prices and other basic commodities.

The report intimated that an El Nino that was experienced in the country induced drought which worsened the situation in rural areas.

One-tenth of the rural households in Zimbabwe currently are going without food for a day, about double population of urban households.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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