Zanu PF poll agents still unpaid

ZANU PF election agents are still to be paid almost six weeks after the July 31 general elections which the party controversially won with a two-thirds majority amid rigging allegations.

Report by Herbert Moyo

Some of the agents who spoke to this paper this week on condition of anonymity said that the party is still to pay them for their services amid confusion as to where the payments should come from.

Zanu PF party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo referred all questions to secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa who denied the claims in a telephone interview on Wednesday evening.

“Every one of our agents has been paid,” said Mutasa, who asked the Zimbabwe Independent for names of all those who claimed they had not been paid.

“You can safely write that comrade Mutasa personally saw to it that everyone was paid although I cannot divulge details of how much each received. Anybody who claims otherwise is simply being mischievous,” he said.

He however said anyone with a genuine case should approach him for assistance.

But election agents insisted the ruling party owed them, with some saying party officials at the headquarters in Harare had told them they will only be paid when the President’s Office releases the funds –– giving credence to allegations the national spy agency,CIO, had adopted a partisan approach in the elections.

“We have been constantly checking with the party offices but so far there is nothing as they keep telling us the money has not come from the President’s Office,” said an agent who claimed they were based in the Masvingo and Midlands provinces during the polls.

The agents say they were supposed to be paid US$80 each for the four days they worked. However, to their surprise they were only given a paltry US$10 on the day of the elections after being told it was for “lunch”. There were over 9 000 polling stations during the elections with the party deploying at least one agent per polling station.

Despite perennial reports of cash-flow problems, Zanu PF ran a well-oiled election campaign with parliamentary candidates receiving cars to assist their campaigns. This was after party leader President Robert Mugabe had promised to secure funding and cars for Zanu PF candidates although he did not say where the resources would come from since Zanu PF was reportedly broke and surviving on bank overdrafts.