HARARE-- President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appealed for patience from Zimbabwe's public sector employees while the government works on improving their salaries and conditions of service and to desist from embarking on industrial action.

His call Wednesday comes following a wave of strikes in the health sector, starting with doctors who went on a month long strike recently demanding an increase in their allowances. Immediately after the doctors returned to work after Government met their demands, nurses embarked on a national strike which has paralysed many hospitals.

Despite several offers from the government, the nurses repeatedly rejected them leaving government with no alternative but to relieve all striking nurses of their duties. Government has already started a massive recruitment of replacements to fill the void.

Zimbabwe has thousands of unemployed qualified nurses who were unable to find employment in government because of a freeze on nursing posts that has been in place for some time now.

Teachers have also threatened to embark on industrial action when schools open for a new term next month.

It is in light of this that President Mnangagwa made his appeal to civil servants. To all workers, I appeal for a new work ethic characterised by determination and honesty. We are cognizant of the plight of civil servants and we remain committed to improving their terms of service, while urging them to continue to exercise patience as we grow our economy's capacity to generate the much needed resources.

Civil servants, who are estimated to number more than 250,000, have for the past few years been at odds with their cash-stressed employer as the government regularly failed to pay their salaries on time. With the civil service salaries accounting for over 80 per cent of total government expenditure, the government has started to implement measures to reduce the wage bill.