Crisis talks over anti-foreigner attacks in South Africa
Zimbabwean teachers have joined a nationwide strike by doctors and told the government they will not report for duty when schools reopen on Tuesday unless their salaries are paid in dollars.
The southern African nation abandoned its own currency in 2009 in favor of the dollar and while the central bank created electronic money, known as Real Time Gross Settlement dollars, or RTGS$, to lend to the government and introduced bond notes backed by the U.S. currency, these trade at a discount to the greenback, making it less appealing as a means of payment. Many retailers are charging about 4.5 times as much for goods paid for electronically as those paid for in paper dollars.
“Our members are unable to report for duty,” the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association said in a statement issued to reporters Monday in the capital, Harare. “To enable the teachers to report for work and to subsist, we demand the payment of salaries in U.S. dollars.”
An economic crisis in Zimbabwe has spawned a shortage of cash, idling gold mines and leading to scarcities of fuel and food.
By Desmond KumbukaSource: Bloomberg
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