CIVIL servants have warned that they will sabotage President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government programmes if authorities continue to disregard their demands for better working conditions.
The pointed threat came as armed police blocked the planned protest in Harare yesterday by government workers against poor working conditions on fears that the demo would be hijacked by "malcontents".
Addressing a group of public servants who managed to gather in the capital – having failed to force their way through to the government's offices to present their petition – Apex Council chairperson Cecilia Alexander declared that they would escalate their fight with authorities after realising that their employer was not keen on genuine negotiations.
Government workers are unhappy that their employer is unwilling to give them US dollar-indexed salaries, to cushion them against the country's skyrocketing inflation which has resulted in prices of basic goods hitting the roof.
Alexander also expressed concern yesterday that police were being forced by the government "to act against their conscience" by dealing roughly with other workers — noting that they too were suffering.
The president of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz), Obert Masaraure, said the action by the police was "a sign that Mnangagwa was in panic mode".
The secretary- general of the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Raymond Majongwe, also described the authorities' action as "unnecessary provocation".
The police had earlier given the Apex Council the green light to march and petition their employer, despite later reneging on that undertaking.