Zimbabwe has raised salaries for all government workers by 50%, hours after nurses stopped work at a major government hospital in the capital Harare, demanding to be paid in US dollars because of soaring inflation. Daily Maverick reports that workers fear the country is returning to the 2008 era when a bout of hyperinflation rendered salaries and savings worthless. The government brought back the Zimbabwe dollar last June.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said in a statement the salary rise would take immediate effect, adding that workers would also get a monthly allowance of $75. Inflation has risen to 785%. The price of bread and sugar increased by at least 30% in one week alone.
Daily Maverick reports that nurses began their protest despite concerns about the effect on Zimbabwe’s fight against COVID-19, which has infected 401 people and killed four in the southern African country. Anti-riot police blocked the entrance to Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare as hundreds of nurses picketed inside.
Zimbabwe Nurses Association secretary-general Enock Dongo is quoted in the report as saying that the least-paid nurses were earning a net monthly salary of 2,000 Zimbabwe dollars and warned that the boycott could continue beyond Wednesday and spread to other hospitals.Full Daily Maverick report