by DANAI MWARUMBA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE Zimbabwean government has blamed hostile Western countries of influencing the latest wave of strikes by civil servants.
It is alleged the governments sympathetic to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance are behind the industrial action as a ploy to effect regime change.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was on leave out of the country, has since cut short his vacation.
His deputy, Constantino Chiwenga, a retired army general, has met the Joint Operations Command (JOC), which comprise cluster of security, to address the alleged plans by the West to influence the politics in Zimbabwe.
He has previously ordered the dismissal of striking junior nurses.
“When you see levers of State security coming into the game then you know it is no longer child’s play,” said presidential spokesman, George Charamba.
He said government would take “extraordinary decisions” to address the strikes and alleged influence by the West.
“We will not have any such development ever again in this country,” Charamba said.
Zimbabwean health professionals are on strike over poor salaries and dire working conditions.
They are demanding payment in United States currency despite the country’s cash crunch. Teachers are also planning a strike next week.
Chiwenga insisted government would not yield to the striking doctors’ demands.
“Government will not allow any demonstrations at medical facilities whose purpose is to treat patients and ensure their full recovery. For the avoidance of doubt, Government will not remunerate any of its work-force in US dollars. Government does not print US dollars,” Chiwenga said.
The latest utterances hinder efforts to mend relations with the international community.
They were strained during the iron fisted rule of then-president, Robert Mugabe, in power from independence in 1980 until he was dislodged in a coup in 2017. Chiwenga masterminded the coup.
– CAJ News