Civil servants strike flops; fearful workers report for duty 

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By Thandiwe Garusa 

CIVIL servants’ planned two-day national strike failed to kickoff Wednesday, with union leaders coy on sharing numbers of those who had decided to stay at home in line with what they had promised.

The strike had been set for Wednesday and Thursday.

Nurses at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals were at work, with business operating as usual, while teachers from across capital Harare, who spoke to indicated they were at mid-morning.

Police had already deployed truckloads of anti-riot officers close to the Public Services Association (PSA) House, where a press conference to give updates on the strike had been scheduled.

More were stationed at the new government complex, which houses finance minister Mthuli Ncube’s office and is a usual spot for protests involving salaries and the local currency.

Union leaders, who requested anonymity  said some government employees had decided not to join following government’s recent threats and an ongoing purge by the Health Services Board (HSB) on all nurses who took part in an earlier job action.

“Some were going to work so that they could be seen to be there because of past threats by government. Remember nurses are under investigation and hearings are being scheduled as we speak,” said one of the leaders.

HSB reportedly demanded attendance registers from all government hospitals with the intention to fire all nurses who did not report for duty the previous time they went on strike.

Civil servants are demanding US dollar salaries. They want the least paid to earn US$840.