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Zimbabwe Govt Suspends Striking Teachers Calling For Better Pay

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Monday, February 14th, 2022
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A 20% salary increase and some incentives announced by Zimbabwe’s government on Tuesday February 8, 2022 night did not change teachers’ minds about their strike. As a result, students in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe read on their own PHOTO: Columbus Mavhunga / VOA

All teachers who did not report for duty when schools opened have been suspended with immediate effect for three months without pay, the governement has said.
A pay strike by teachers disrupted learning on February 7, 2022 as schools opened for the first time in 2022 following Covid-19 delays. All the teachers’ unions have declared “incapacitation” in anger over salaries that have been eroded by inflation and a weak currency. Thousands of leaners at day schools across the country were turned away in a rare show of unity by teachers who have been backed by a union of headmasters. 
Earlier, the government offered teachers a 20% salary increment backdated to January 1, with the equivalent of U.S.$100 of this in foreign currency from March 2022. The government has also threatened disciplinary action against teachers who did not report for duty, directing heads of offices to suspend those found guilty.
For years, teachers have been arguing that their salaries have been reduced to nothing due to high inflation. Zimbabwe’s economy has been on a downturn for over a decade characterized by scarcity of foreign currency. President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over from Robert Mugabe, pledged to revive the country’s economy but economic woes which plagued the late former president Robert Mugabe’s rule have persisted.

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