Zimbabwe President Rules Out U.S. Dollar Salaries Demanded By Striking Teachers

Harare — Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has ruled out use of U.S. dollars for salaries, which teachers on strike are demanding. Teachers and economists are condemning Mnangagwa for being out of touch with reality.

Addressing thousands members of the country’s ruling ZANU-PF party Saturday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe will continue to pay salaries in the local currency.

“We know that there is no country that prospers without their own currency. We are on that path. We are supporting our own currency which will help to grow our economy. We cannot grow our economy on the basis of a currency which we have no control upon. So that’s where we are going,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s teachers have been striking since last week, asking for a minimum salary of $540 a month. They currently earn about $100 a month in local currency.

Reacting to Mnangagwa’s speech, Robson Chere of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said: “It is clear that Mr. Mnangagwa is carefree and indifferent on the plight of teachers and the demand for a living wage is a struggle that no one can stop at this moment. And no one can exclude teachers from being actively participate in our economy by paying them slave wage in the form of bond [local currency].”

“We will resist any attempts by any means necessary, even by the highest office, from stopping us to demand a living wage. We will continue mobilizing teachers get the USD so that teachers can actively participate in this economy,” he added.

“The president is not being honest and sincere,” said Raymond Majongwe of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe. “The tragedy of that analogy is he is being selective with the truth. Every service they are provide they are charging in U.S. dollar. We have seen him buy chicken and he took U.S. dollars to pay. We didn’t see him produce RTGS dollars.”