It never rains but pours for Zimbabwe’s main opposition political party, the Movement for Democratic Change led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
After losing the July 31st national elections to Zanu-PF, the party has apparently started retrenching employees who have been with the labour-backed organization for years now.
The embattled party has apparently fallen on hard times and is in the process of retrenching 55 of its estimated 150 staff members due to financial problems.
Senior party members tell VOA the retrenchment is voluntary with some of the employees being offered two months’ salary to part ways with the MDC.
An employee who has worked for the party for four years has been offered a $12,000 retrenchment package. Most of the employees are complaining that the money being offered by the MDC-T, which says the July polls were rigged in President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF’s favour, is far too little.
Also adding to the party’s woes is Harvest Likis, a Facebook page set up by an MDC-T insider, is releasing information about the goings-on in the party on a daily basis, including naming some of the people who are being laid off.
This includes former Tsvangirai spokesman William Bango and former Principal Director in the Prime Minister’s office, Gandi Mudzingwa.
Party secretary general Tendai Biti dismissed the stories on the retrenchment as ‘untrue’ but spokesman Douglas Mwonzora confirmed to VOA’s Jonga Kandemiiri that some employees are being laid off.
“The MDC is not breaking up at all,” said Mwonzora. “These retrenchments are normal because we have employed a number of people to help the party with the elections. They did their job and now they are being retrenched and they will receive their packages because the party is a labour-backed party which respects workers.”