Botswana civil servants go on strike over pay


More than 90,000 civil servants in Botswana including teachers, nurses and customs and immigration officials began a 10-day strike in a dispute over pay.

The workers, whose last pay rise was in 2008, are demanding a 16 percent increase while the government has offered 5 percent, saying the economy is still recovering from the global recession.

Botswana, whose economy relies heavily on diamonds, was one of the countries in Africa worst affected by the fall in commodity prices as a result of the global downturn and posted three consecutive budget deficits, Reuters reports.

President Ian Khama has criticised the civil servants for demanding a pay rise when the government is struggling financially and says the strike will cripple the economy.