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HARARE - Zimbabwe's public sector doctors went on strike on Tuesday after the government failed to meet their demand to have their wages benchmarked in the U.S. dollar.

"We met with the government representatives yesterday and they promised to expedite other allowances for health personnel but so far it has just been empty promises," Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association president Peter Magombeyi told Reuters. 

Last week, the doctors, who along with teachers make up the bulk of the public service, rejected the government's wage offer, threatening a strike if their demand is not met.

The government proposed a 60% pay increase for doctors, while offering a 76% raise for the rest of the civil service, in a bid to avert crippling strikes by state workers.

This would see the lowest paid worker earning 1 023 Zimbabwe dollars (about R1 500) a month.

The Apex Council, which is an umbrella group for public sector unions, is demanding the equivalent of $475 (R7 200) for the lowest paid government worker.

* This is a developing story

Reuters