HUNDREDS of election observers who were contracted by the Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (ZESN) have reportedly not received payments after the 23-14 August harmonised elections and are threatening legal action if it continues showing a non-committal attitude in fulfilling its promises.
Scores of observers expressed their concerns to the Sunday News saying they have failed to get an audience with ZESN. However, when contacted for comment, the person who answered the ZESN National Director Rindai Chipfunde Vava’s mobile phone claimed she was in a meeting.
“She is in a meeting, you can contact the chairperson, and I will send you their name. But what I know is that payments are ongoing, even ZEC is still doing payments,” she said before hanging up.
One of the affected observers expressed their dismay over the nonpayment.
“A lot of us have not received their payments for the work we did on election day. We were contracted to be election observers during the August general elections. We signed contracts that they were going to pay us US$65, US$60 for observing the election, and US$5 was supposed to be for airtime.
“They had also said they were going to offer us lunch on the day and they told us that on the 30th of August 2023, we would have been paid,” said an affected observer.
He, together with scores of other observers said they were not getting any joy from ZESN.
“It’s now, a month later we have not received our money for the work we did, we are being told stories everyday about our payments. They told us that Econet was withholding our monies, people are disgruntled that we did the work and now we are not getting paid.
“When we contacted Econet about the issue, they said they were not aware of the development, they said if anything a company that deposits its funds through the USD Ecocash platform is able to pay its own people. They said they have no role to play in the distribution of funds to individuals,” said the source.
The observers said there had been limited communication from ZESN explaining the matter. — Sunday News