Zapu fails to pay polling agents

BULAWAYO - The cash-strapped Dumiso Dabengwa-led Zapu is likely to face legal hurdles after it emerged that it is struggling to pay its polling agents and other creditors following the just ended July harmonised elections.

The party owes $20 000 to its agents and creditors.

Zapu contested in a limited number of parliamentary and local government seats across the country in an election they failed to garner a single seat.

The party did not contest the presidential poll but instead supported MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa.

The party fielded in 49 parliamentary constituencies and several local government seats across the country.

They had fielded two polling agents per polling station.

Several polling agents who refused to be named expressed their displeasure at the manner they have been treated.

“They are yet to pay us. The party through their candidates called us soon after the elections to explain that there was going to be delays in payment.

“This was due to changing of goal posts by the donor who had initially promised to take care of the costs. The donor, according to the party is no longer forthcoming,” said one angry polling agent.

Another agent from Matabeleland South said they appreciate that Zapu was reeling under financial crisis and understand the efforts being made by different candidates to cushion the party.

“Zapu has no money. We worked knowing fully well we could end up here, but their candidates are doing all they can to rectify that.

“They are paying us bit by bit and soon all will be paid and happy. We will be patient with them.”

Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa confirmed the development saying changes in conditions from their donor brew the confusion.

“It is true we have that particular delay to pay polling agents and other creditors besides polling agents.

“Frantic efforts are being made to correct this and we are grateful to our agents for their patience and understanding.

“The party is working at addressing the matter. Our candidates have been helpful in this regard and the party leadership is thankful,” Maphosa said.

Zapu have in the past been moving from one office to another due to rent arrears.

At one point the cash strapped party spent a number of years without an office after they had been evicted following a High Court ruling.

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