Sat | Feb 23, 2019

Zimbabwe’s civil servants to strike on Friday over salaries

Published:Wednesday | January 23, 2019 | 9:47 AM
People wait in line for cooking gas at a garage in the capital Harare, Wednesday, January 23, 2019. The Southern African nation remained tense as President Emmerson Mnangagwa's call for national dialogue is met with skepticism, and reports of abuses by security forces continued. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe faces a new wave of unrest as the group representing government workers announced on Wednesday that civil servants across the country will go on strike after salary negotiations failed.

David Dzatsunga, secretary of the Civil Service Apex Council, said the strike by some 500,000 civil servants will begin on Friday as the southern African nation’s economic collapse deepens and frustration with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government grows.

A crackdown on last week’s protests over a sharp rise in fuel prices continued in the courts and on the streets, where witnesses and rights groups reported abuses by the military, police and ruling party youth gangs.

Mnangagwa’s call for national dialogue has been met with skepticism.

A labor federation leader charged with subversion was at court along with dozens of others accused of involvement in the protests, while their lawyers accused the government of systematically denying them justice.

Japhet Moyo, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, could face 20 years in prison.

He is accused of inciting Zimbabweans to protest the fuel price increase by staying off the streets.

Other Zimbabweans, frustrated over the long lines for fuel and other basics, demonstrated, with some looting shops in anger or desperation.

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