Police in Zimbabwe arrested 12 nurses protesting outside state hospitals on Monday demanding to be paid in U.S. dollars as inflation running at nearly 800% was eroding their salaries, the country’s nurses union said.
An economic crisis under President Emmerson Mnangagwa has revived memories of the hardships of more than a decade ago when hyperinflation wiped out savings and pensions and forced the country to dump its currency in favour of the U.S. dollar.
The demonstrations, including at Zimbabwe’s biggest hospital in the capital Harare, come at a time COVID-19 cases are rising in the southern African nation, which has recorded 716 infections and eight deaths so far.
Nurses holding placards reading “No U.S. dollar no work” and “#Nurses can’t breath” said they had to protest because they cannot survive on a monthly salary of 3,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($47). Reuters