Zimbabwean public sector bosses were split on Wednesday whether to launch a national strike after wage talks with the government failed, and that the country was leaning on the possibility of more rioting.
Zimbabwe was three times in mid-year outraged by violent protests that led to brutal security interventions.
The fundamental reaction of the security forces raised fears that, according to President Emmerson Mnangagw, the country has returned to the form of authoritarianism that has been seen during Robert Mugabe's 37-year rule.
The Mnangagwa spokeswoman said the soldiers would stay on the streets and become blocked again if the violence was crazy.
Teachers and other state workers are demanding wage increases and dollar payments to help them reverse spiraling inflation and the economic crisis that has exhausted cash, fuel, and medication in state hospitals.
Human rights groups say that this month killed at least 12 people after a three-day stay in the household to raise fuel prices led to street protests and security intervention. The government says three people died.
At a meeting with trade unions, the government has proposed to give the country a homebuilding and food for employees, trade union officials said. Public sector unions issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the government on Monday to make a new wage offer or face strikes.
The Apex Council, which represents 17 public sector unions, did not agree on whether to strike during a brief meeting that broke up because officials blamed each other for either working for the opposition or for the government.
"The Apex meeting ended prematurely and people left, there is no consensus on how we get into the strike when our colleagues come and say some unions are paid?" said Raymond Majongwe, Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Progressive Teachers' Union.
He said his alliance was among those who were accused by colleagues of being the opposition and the donors paying for strike and violence, the allegation he denied.
The largest teachers' union called for a strike on 5 February.
& Quot; Bread & Butter &
The Mnangagwa – who came to power in November 2017 after Mugabe's long reign, was forced to resign for a coup – promised to revive the economy and break with Mugabe's policy. But frustration over the economic crisis is building, and analysts say the pace of economic and political reform is too slow for impatient citizens.
Mnangagwa on Wedneaday chose a 24-member advisory board to advise him on economic reforms, a government source said.
The 76-year-old leader has promised to investigate the protest against protesters and take measures to address the economic crisis, but the opposition does not trust him.
His spokesman said it would take a long time to recover the economy that has been suffering for decades.
"There are key questions about bread and butter, which can not be avoided by the government, things are hard," said George Charamba, a state radio station, Harare.
"But it would be a sad day to think that the only way to fix this problem is to cause further damage to the already damaged economy through chaos, looting and chaos."
Charamba said the police and soldiers would stay on the streets and the government would shut down the internet again if violence occurred. He previously said the intervention was a prediction that the government is responding to future protests.