Donors Say Zimbabwe A Bottomless Pit

Coltart said : “Donors have told me that this country is a bottomless pit and they will not support anything until the GPA is fully implemented.

“They will not give us a cent even for teachers salaries. They have however said they are willing to give us 13 million text books for primary school children next year. We will only get money to pay teachers in the 2011 National budget.”

Coltart was responding to enquiries from members of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) who are meeting in Harare until Friday this week.

About 300 ZIMTA members are in Harare from all over Zimbabwe.

Raymond Majongwe from the aggressive Progressive Teachers Alliance of Zimbabwe (PTAZ) paid a surprise visit to the packed conference held in Harare.

ZIMTA President Tendai Chikowore told Coltart that teachers were very unhappy and he was lying to them about salaries.

She said money was disappearing from Chiadzwa and yet it could be used to pay cash strapped teachers countrywide.

“I will look into the matter,”  a shocked Coltart said in reply. “I know you guys are very unhappy but there is no money in Zimbabwe right now full stop.”

Zimbabwean teachers are earning about USD 150 a month, which the government calls an allowance. The government says it will only ba ble to pay a decent salary to civil servants once its coffers have improved. Most western countries have denied assisting Zimbabwe financially, demanding the full implementation of the GPA and a stop to human rights abuses.

Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, recently admitted that Zimbabwe was on its own as no-one was interested in lending it money. The International financier, International Monetary Fund, said it will resume lending Zimbabwe money once it clears all its debts.