BULAWAYO – The Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC has suspended its Bulawayo provincial administrator on allegations of misappropriating more than $10 000 of funds meant to pay polling agents during the July 31 elections.
Nkululeko Ndlovu was given his suspension less than a fortnight ago after an audit team from Harare found him on the wrong side of the law, the Daily News understands.
Party provincial spokesperson Mandla Sibanda confirmed the suspension but could not shed more light into the matter.
“Yes, I can confirm that the administrator is out of the office now. He has been suspended but unfortunately I cannot discuss it with the media because the matter is purely administrative,” Sibanda said.
Over 60 party members who took part in the elections have been storming the party’s provincial office demanding their dues, sources said.
“What made the administrator’s case weak is that he failed to pay party members who directed their complaints to the top officials after losing hope of getting their monies which led to an audit team being dispatched from Harare,” said the source.
Polling agents were meant to get $50 each per day before, during and after the polling day.
Insiders said party provincial treasurer Nicola Brown had reportedly been dragged into the mess but was later let off the hook after it was discovered that she was bypassed in the handling of the cash by Ndlovu despite it being her duty.
In committing the alleged fraud, Ndlovu was reportedly being used by some senior party members who have since vowed to protect him during the disciplinary hearing.
Contacted for comment, Ndlovu dismissed the allegations saying the whole process was fabricated as evidenced by the way he was suspended.
“I have not been served with a letter to that effect. I only saw it from the Internet which to me shows that the whole thing is fabricated. Personally I feel that’s not the way things are done,” Ndlovu said.
He also said it was unfair to judge him while the audit was still being carried out.
The party has since recalled Sidumiso Moyo who was one of the four staff members at the provincial office recently retrenched following the party’s loss in the elections.
The issue has also sucked in local Members of Parliament who are said to have also spirited away thousands of dollars which were made available to them for disbursement to the polling agents.
These include Thamsanqa Mahlangu (Nkulumane), Eddie Cross (Bulawayo South), Ms Dorcas Sibanda (Bulawayo Central), Thabitha Khumalo (Bulawayo East) and Dingilizwe Tshuma (Entumbane–Emakhandeni).