Esinathy Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter
CASH-STRAPPED MDC Alliance’s polling agents in the recent harmonised elections are up in arms with the party over non-payment of allowances.
Ahead of the polls, the MDC Alliance reportedly deployed 45 000 election agents to various polling stations across the country. However, on the eve of the elections the party sent begging bowls for assistance to feed its agents.
Party activists who doubled as election agents said the party is now mum on the payment of their allowances.
“We were told that the party was going to avail some money to cater for expenses such as food and promised each of us $5 as a token of appreciation. It is over a week now but we have received nothing,” said one of the agents.
“When they requested us to be agents, they told us that the party was struggling financially, hence we should stay near the polling stations because they won’t be providing transport money.”
Another source said: “The party’s members, some of them who were contesting the election have since disappeared yet they begged us to represent the party.”
Others said even on election day they barely received meals, spending the day on empty stomachs.
MDC Alliance spokesperson, Professor Welshman Ncube, blamed candidates for the problem, saying the party did not have an arrangement to reward agents.
“Every candidate was told to recruit party cadres at the polling station level as volunteers and we made it clear that under no circumstance should one be promised money whatsoever. We do not owe anyone money because everyone was told they will provide food and water only. There was no agreement with anyone at any level,” he said.