OWNERS of vehicles hired by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) for various election-related tasks have lamented receiving payment in local currency at the interbank rate instead of United States dollars.
Zec occasionally hires vehicles through the Central Mechanical and Equipment Department (CMED) to beef up its operations.
In a memo dated August 7, 2023 to provincial and district election officers, Zec human resources department said Treasury had approved payment of election allowances from July 25 and payment would be done by the Salary Service Bureau (SSB) through Nostro Accounts on weekly basis.
Civil servants were asked to complete public service forms, while those recruited from other organisations will complete a different form.
However, vehicles owners told NewsDay yesterday that it was unfair that they are still being paid in Zimdollars, while people recruited to do electoral work receive US$30 allowances per day.
“We don’t have the capacity to engage Zec as transporters because we are under CMED. Unfortunately, CMED appears to be toothless because it is taking more than two months for one to get paid yet the vehicles need to go for service,” one vehicle owner said.
“We should get money to service our vehicles in preparation for the elections. There should be no breakdowns when transporting confidential papers. CMED must have meetings with transporters going forward so that we air out our views.”
CMED managing director Davison Mhaka yesterday said he would forward the vehicles owners’ concerns to relevant authorities.
“We receive the money in local currency from Treasury through Zec. If the commission receives the money in US dollars they will be paid in that currency. So far there is no indication that they can be paid in USD,” he said.
“If voter educators are now getting US dollars, maybe, that’s also going to apply to them (vehicle owners).
“They is nothing wrong in passing on their recommendation. We will pass on their views to Treasury.”
Zec deputy chairperson Rodney Kiwa told NewsDay that the issue was beyond his purview.
“Those are administrative and operational details beyond my purview and best responded to by the chief executive or the CMED,” he said.