MDC to lay off excess staff

BY OBEY MANAYITI

THE opposition MDC is laying off some its employees to pave way for a fresh start in a move that has triggered panic and despondency among the workers, although the party maintains the decision is the best way forward.

According to sources, the workers were addressed on Friday, where they were told of the move before signing some letters complying with the directive.

Some claimed the move is targeted at those allegedly aligned to the former secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, who lost to Kuwadzana East legislator Charlton Hwende at the party’s elective congress last month.

MDC deputy spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka yesterday said the workers were being offered retrenchment packages because the party wants to have a leaner workforce.

“The party is going for a leaner staff complement and the party has offered a package for those who want to leave voluntarily,” he said.

“The party has got over 100 employees and because of the present economic situation, which has been authored by the current regime, the party has decided to go for a leaner staff complement, which it can be able to pay.

“The party has offered a voluntary retrenchment package and has complied with the law. What the party is offering is actually more than what is prescribed by the law.”

Tamborinyoka also dispelled reports that the move was targeted at punishing certain employees.

“There is no iota of truth in that,” he said.

“There is no employee or department which is being targeted here. This is a voluntary process and people are taking up the offer voluntarily. We are a labour-backed party and just like any other responsible corporate in the country, the party is rationalising its staff complement.”

He said people from the information department, president’s office, treasury and elections departments, among others, were willingly taking up the retrenchment package without any undue influence, hence those peddling information that the move was targeted were misinformed.

MDC employees have gone for several months without being paid. On this retrenchment exercise, some claimed that the monetary value which they will take home is less than what they had expected.

Tamborinyoka, however, said the party had done its best to compensate the workers.

“Yes, the amounts are inadequate, given the dire situation and loss of value of the money, but the party has tried as much as possible to comply with the law because we are a labour-backed party,” he said.

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