Zvamaida Murwira, Harare Bureau
The MDC Alliance paid youths to demonstrate against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on Wednesday in Harare, it has emerged.
Some of the rowdy youths who had not received full payment were exclusively captured by our Harare Bureau fuming at the party leadership.
They blamed MDC-T deputy treasurer Mr Charlton Hwende for not ensuring that they were fully paid and threatened not to vote for the MDC Alliance if they were not given the balance.
The youths claimed they were promised $30 each but were only given $10.
This comes as the MDC-T national chairman for the Nelson Chamisa camp yesterday sensationally defended the vulgar insults directed at Zec chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba during the demonstration.
The visibly drunk youths donning party regalia were livid that their leaders were, after the demonstration, evasive on payment.
The youths were captured fuming over non-payment and castigating Mr Hwende.
They accused Mr Hwende of being selective on paying them.
“Other youths from Kuwadzana, Budiriro and Mufakose have already been paid. We are from Chitungwiza North and we have not been paid. Hwende should pay us,” said one youth.
Another one complained that he had left his workplace upon being enticed that they would get $30 but the party leadership was now playing hide and seek.
“We will not vote for the MDC Alliance if we are not paid. They invited us to this demo. We have discharged our obligation and now they are no longer willing to pay us,” screamed another youth.
Soon after the demonstration some youths thronged supermarkers in the Central Business District blowing vuvuzelas right in the shops.
They were seen buying beer that included opaque and cheap spirits while shouting obscenities at everyone.
Mr Hwende yesterday dismissed the claim by the disgruntled youths.
He blamed Zanu-PF.
“They are Zanu-PF youths. We do not pay people to come for demonstrations and in any case we have no capacity to pay people. People come voluntarily and those are Zanu-PF youths trying to smear our demonstration that registered a resounding success,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Komichi defended the vulgar language directed at Justice Chigumba by MDC Alliance youths.
“Chigumba had angered the people. While we might not condone it as leadership but she invited it upon herself. Chigumba has no respect for other people.
She is very pompous and arrogant. Her character calls for what you are saying she was told,” said Mr Komichi.
In May this year, MDCT rival leader Dr Thokozani Khupe was subjected to the same vulgar insults by the Nelson Chamisa led youths outside the Supreme Court.
They called her a prostitute for calling for a congress to choose the legitimate MDC-T leader following the death of Mr Morgan Tsvangirai in February.
The unruly youths have also abused another MDC-T politician, Ms Jessie Majome, who had complained over the imposition of a candidate in her constituency and demanded primary elections.
Ms Majome is now standing as an independent candidate in Harare West.