DOZENS of former staffers at the now-defunct Prime Minister’s Office have reportedly fallen on hard times following reports that the MDC-T leader, ex-Premier Morgan Tsvangirai, and his top party officials are haggling over responsiblity of payment of the former workers’ outstanding salaries and severance packages.
The former workers, some of whom used to work at the Prime Minister’s Charter House and Avondale offices, have accused Tsvangirai of neglecting them following the abolition of his post.
The workers claimed they had now been turned destitute after they were made redundant last October as they could not secure employment elsewhere.
Speaking to NewsDay in separate interviews this week, some of the former workers said their woes worsened after MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti and deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma reportedly ignored Tsvangirai’s suggestions to get the party to pay the workers.
“We want our packages for the four years we worked in his office as we had been promised,” a former worker who declined to be named said.
MDC-T sources said Tsvangirai wanted to pay the workers through party funds, a directive that failed to get support from others in the party.
“Some people came to the PM’s office and have nothing to do with Harvest House, therefore, to expect anything from Harvest House is a waste of time. The party is facing challenges of its own and has retrenched more than 100 workers. There is no paperwork with the MDC-T on Tsvangirai workers.”
In a letter addressed to Tsvangirai by one of his former employees, a number of meetings took place at the MDC-T leader’s Highlands house and Harvest House to try and deal with the matter, but without any positive results.
Contacted for comment, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said: “We don’t conduct human resources issues in papers. If there are people with issues, they should come through proper channels.”
Party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora referred the issue to Mangoma who, however, was unreachable for comment.