ZANU PF members in Bulawayo, hired by the ruling party as polling officers for the recently held provincial elections are demanding payment of money for coordinating the internal elections which ushered in new executives in the 10 provinces.
The former liberation movement conducted provincial elections on December 28, 2021 in the 10 provinces which birthed new provincial chairpersons. Youth and women’s league provincial executive positions were also contested.
This week, some polling officers in Bulawayo who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent said they were owed money.
Indications are that over 100 polling officers in Bulawayo have not been paid and have not been notified of how much they will be paid.
Zanu PF member Sam Dhliwayo said the ruling party has failed to fulfil its promise of paying in three weeks after the polls.
“We conducted the elections and were asked to submit our bank account details. They promised to pay us within two to three weeks but it’s now more than a month and we are yet to be paid,” Dhliwayo said.
“We have a feeling that the money might have been diverted by greedy top officials; this is unacceptable.”
He said the disgruntled officers were exposing the issue to attract the attention of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Another Zanu PF member who spoke on condition of anonymity said the party was not sincere.
“We cannot be treated like this by our political party which is supposed to serve our interests,” he said.
A Zanu PF insider in Bulawayo who also requested anonymity for fear of victimisation said the payment of polling officers for provincial elections was being done at the party headquarters.
“The payment of polling officers is the responsibility of the national office because those people were deployed outside their provinces. The money was supposed to come from the national office, but we hear that some are yet to be paid.
“It is possible that the national office might have sent money to provinces for onward payments,” said a Zanu PF official.
Zanu PF national spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa was not reachable on his mobile phone.
Party national commissar Mike Bimha referred the Zimbabwe Independent to the provincial leadership for comment.
“Please be advised that provincial elections are being directed from the provinces and it’s the provinces that can answer your questions,” Bimha said.
Bulawayo provincial chairman Jabulani Sibanda’s phone went unanswered. Provincial commissar Ruth Shelton declined to discuss the matter.
“I was a candidate during the provincial elections and whatever the arrangement was there, I have nothing to do with it. Maybe I will have to ask those who were the interim executive about this issue,” Shelton said.