MDC dragged to court for failing to pay salaries

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By Mary Taruvinga

THE MDC has been dragged to court by five former employees for failing to settle US$222 000 in salaries.

The five, Tafadzwa Chakanyuka, Aleck Tabe, Geraldine Sibanda, Wilson Box and Lawrence Paganga, are seeking to have the party’s bank accounts garnished in order to get their dues.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and MDC were cited as first and second respondents in the claim.

Court records show that the five have already obtained court orders against MDC and filed writs of execution on the party’s movable property.

The five claim that their challenge is that MDC’s movable and immovable properties are unknown to them and they cannot instruct the sheriff to attach them.

“In the event that the applicants find movable or immovable property belonging to MDC, the amounts realised may not be sufficient to cover the debt for all applicants…and will be put out of pocket trying to raise money to pay the sheriff’s costs,” Chakanyuka said.

According to the court application, on April 26, MDC indicated in a letter its intention to settle the debt from a government grant to be disbursed in terms of the Political Parties Finance Act as soon as it was availed by Treasury.

On June 24 the applicants’ lawyers wrote to MDC requesting payment for the monies owed.

The main opposition responded the following day saying it was yet to receive the grant.

“To secure the payment, the applicants have therefore approached this honorable court seeking a garnishee order against the second respondent’s bank account and Ecocash merchant account or any other account to which MDC’s funds are disbursed,” added Chakanyuka.

“The applicants seek to have Mthuli ordered to deduct US$222 436 and pay the amount to applicants lawyers Caleb Mucheche and partners within 24 hours of the amount becoming due and payable to MDC and the government grant being disbursed into its bank accounts,” reads the application.