Addressing a stakeholder briefing at Joshua Mqabuko Polytechnic Tsvangirai said the teachers “cannot squeeze blood out of a stone”.

He said the country had a debt of US $5 billion and needed at least US $200 million monthly to respond to government’s needs. “We are all earning the same amount and I believe the decision by teachers to go on strike was a bad proposition”, he said.

Tsvangirai said civil servants salaries could only be increased when the economy stabilized. “When things improve the salaries will also improve”, added the Prime Minister.

A meeting between the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, David Coltart and the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) ended in deadlock Tuesday.

Teachers went on strike when schools opened for the third term on September 02 demanding a review of their salaries.

Most rural schools in Matabeleland South have since closed with pupils being told they will be recalled when the things normalize.

ZIMTA, which commands a large following, has proposed government re-introduces the US$100 allowance and gradually increase the basic salary to US$500 by year end.

The strike could disrupt public examinations set for next month. (RadioVOP)