MDC-T pay shocker prompted director assault

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    The document, leaked by officials in party president Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s office, alleges that an official (name supplied) has been steadily establishing a parallel empire within the party, which gets paid up to 300 times more than ordinary party workers.

    The official, who ironically holds a post in parallel structures created in the Prime Mini-ster’s Office, is said to be working through the director-general.

    The official is allegedly using his links to the donor community to pay the parallel structures.

    It is alleged some of the payments are being made through a company called Lafonic Investments.

    According to the report, there are two salary structures at Harvest House — the party’s headquarters.

    "The two salary structures at Harvest House are all managed and decided directly by (the lawyer).

    "One is called Lafonic Investments and this is where all employees who are paid more than a thousand (American dollars) are covered.

    "The other one is simply called MDC and this is where most workers are housed and under this scheme workers are paid not more than US$300," the report reads.

    It further said there were huge differences among workers doing the same work and in the same grades.

    It gives examples of two national co-ordinators (names supplied) in the same grade, but with one earning US$400 and the other US$3 500.

    Provincial administrators in Harare, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West, Midlands South, Chitungwiza and Midlands are said to be earning between US$100 and US$200 while in the other provinces they are getting between US$800 and US$1 000.

    "The remaining six provinces are getting something between US$800 and US$1 000 and there is no justification whatsoever to support the variance.

    "All the other co-ordinators who are not mentioned above are paid between US$300 and US$600. They are regarded as anti-Shonhe’s leadership hence the low salaries," alleged the report.

    The special projects manager in the secretary-general’s office is "getting a salary of between US$2 500 and US$3 000."

    Others are the women’s assembly co-ordinator (US$2 000 to US$2 500), the international relations co-ordinator (US$3 000), and the policy and research co-ordinator (US$2 000).

    MDC-T spokesperson Mr Nelson Chamisa yesterday denied the report’s existence.

    "What I know is that the investigation is still going on and there is no such report. However, as a party we don’t have the kind of resources to pay salaries at the level you are talking about," he said.

    Mr Chamisa asked The Herald to call him back after an hour so that he could give a fuller statement, but after that his mobile phone was not reachable.

    Party secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti could not be reached for comment.

    A senior staffer in his office said: "What is happening is the same problem that caused the party to split in 2005.

    "There is an attempt now, as then, to smear the secretary-general’s office and it is the same people who are behind it.

    "The real issue here is violence and they are now trying to raise these allegations of salary discrepancies to mask what they have done."

    Mr Shonhe, who is responsible for MDC-T’s day-to-day affairs at Harvest House, was assaulted by youths who accused him of undermining Mr Tsvangirai’s leadership and had his vehicle seized.

    He was also accused of mismanaging party affairs.

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