The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai in Trouble

MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai is failing to pay workers he recruited for the parallel government structures when he was still prime minister, with hordes of them besieging his office and home last week demanding their dues.

The workers, numbering nearly 30, blocked Mr Tsvangirai from leaving his office at Harvest House, while others followed him to his Highlands home asking to speak to him.

Mr Tsvangirai created the parallel government structures when donors believed he could unseat President Mugabe and Zanu-PF.

The donors have, however, since fled in the wake of the MDC-T's crushing defeat at the hands of Zanu-PF, a development that left the regime change agenda in limbo..

A group of 15 workers from the security department besieged the party's Harvest House offices on Friday demanding their packages and outstanding salaries. They blocked Mr Tsvangirai from leaving until he addressed them. Another group of employees who worked in the communications office along Bath Road in Avondale followed Mr Tsvangirai to his Highlands house where they demanded their outstanding money some two weeks ago.

Mr Tsvangirai, according to the sources, saved himself after making yet other promises to pay the group.

Mr Tsvangirai's parallel office employed almost 30 people who are now wallowing in poverty as they failed to get retrenchment packages and outstanding salaries following the phasing out of the office after elections.

The workers, who operated mainly from Mr Tsvangirai's Bath Road offices in Avondale, Harare, said they were promised jobs in Government in the event the MDC-T won the polls.

Most of the workers are from the communication, research and security departments. They were funded by the Institute for a Democratic Alternative of Zimbabwe (IDAZIM) and some undisclosed donors. The workers argued that when Mr Tsvangirai addressed them before the elections, he promised that they would get packages if the party lost, but they have not been paid since September.

Mr Tsvangirai's spokesperson Mr Luke Tamborinyoka said he did not want to discuss the matter with the press. President Mugabe romped to victory in the July 31 polls with 61,09 percent of the presidential vote against Mr Tsvangirai's 33,94 percent, with Zanu-PF clinching 160 seats out of the contested 210 National Assembly constituencies to get a crushing 76 percent dominance in the Lower House.

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