The payment of salaries for thousands of Zimbabwe’s public servants for this month will spill over into next as the government battles the effects of a failing economy.
Employees of the military will get their salaries today, while the health sector and police will be paid on Tuesday next week. However, teachers, pensioners and other civil servants will be paid in the first week of October.
The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association’s CEO Sifiso Ndlovu said staggering the payment of salaries indicated tough times ahead.
The government said last week it had dropped plans to cut 25,000 public-sector jobs and bonuses less than a week after they were announced and as activists called for more protests against economic mismanagement.
About 95% of Zimbabwe’s revenue is spent on public servants’ salaries.At least 80 people were arrested countrywide at the weekend as the police led a crackdown on protests that spread to areas outside Harare.
There were marches in smaller cities such as Masvingo, Gutu, Gokwe, Chiredzi and Bulawayo.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change called on the African Union, SADC and the UN to act before there was anarchy. Protests have been taking place in mostly Zanu-PF strongholds.
AFP reported that a major state hospital in Zimbabwe had suspended routine surgery after running out of painkillers. Harare Central Hospital, the country’s second-biggest, said it would focus only on emergencies, intensive care and maternity cases.