CON­TRO­VERSY OVER CANGO ELEC­TIONS OB­SERVERS’ PAY

…they were paid a mea­gre E2 800 for the three months’ job

Sunday Observer - - NEWS - STO­RIES BY FOR­TUNE NDLANGAMANDLA

The Co­or­di­nat­ing of Assem­bly of Non- Gov­ern­men­tal Or­gan­i­sa­tions ( CANGO) na­tional elec­tions ob­servers are bit­ter over their pay­ments.

CANGO hired its in­de­pen­dent ob­servers to mon­i­tor pro­ceed­ings of the elec­tions which ended on Septem­ber 21.

Ac­cord­ing to the con­tracts of the ob­servers seen by this pub­li­ca­tion they were promised a sum of E2 500 for the job. The con­fu­sion arose from the terms of pay­ment, which the ob­servers thought in­cluded that they would get paid af­ter sub­mit­ting re­ports. There­fore, it did not cross their minds that the in­stal­ments given by CANGO dur­ing nom­i­na­tions, pri­mary and sec­ondary elec­tions were part of the E2 500.

The ob­servers were paid on July 27 and Au­gust 24, which were the nom­i­na­tions and pri­mary elec­tions day.

They were given E500 for those months. Mean­while, for the Sec­ondary elec­tions on Septem­ber 21 they were given E1 000.

On Septem­ber 28, as fi­nal pay­ment on sub­mis­sion of re­port to CANGO they (ob­servers) were given E800.

This amounted to E2 800. In­ter­est­ingly, this amount is above the E2 500 the ob­servers signed up for.

As the con­fu­sion mounted, last week, the ob­servers were al­legedly re­moved from a What­sApp group which was used as a com­mu­ni­cat­ing tool duri ng the elec­tions. The ob­servers in­formed this pub­li­ca­tion that be­fore they were re­moved from the group one of the of­fi­cers re­spon­si­ble for the ob­servers’ griev­ances ex­ited the group af­ter fail­ing to con­vince the free­lancers on the deal they signed up for.

“The of­fi­cial ex­ited the group af­ter we (ob­servers) grilled him on the mat­ter and we made it clear that we were ex­pect­ing more money,” one of the ob­servers said.

Dur­ing

He said when they were given the dif­fer­ent amounts dur­ing the nom­i­na­tions, pri­mary and sec­ondary elec­tions they were in­formed that the money was for food and trans­port.

Ad­dress­ing the con­fu­sion, CANGO Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Of­fi­cer Nkosingiphile Myeni thanked all the ob­servers who par­tic­i­pated in the elec­tions. He said CANGO re­cruited 119 in­di­vid­u­als into Elec­tions Observer Mis­sion ( EOM) from within the CANGO mem­ber NGOs.

“The ob­servers were each fur­nished with a bag, bib and re­port­ing forms. The bibs and forms had to be re­turned to the CANGO EOM com­mand cen­tre at CANGO of­fices in Mba­bane,” he said.

He con­tin­ued to state that each observer’s ob­jec­tives were to mon­i­tor and ob­serve the open­ing of polling sta­tions or cen­tres.

They also had to ob­serve the en­vi­ron­ment out­side and in­side the polling cen­tre and ac­ces­si­bil­ity to polling sta­tions, or­der­li­ness, vot­ing pro­ce­dures and, count­ing and an­nounce­ment of results and to re­port to the com­mand cen­tre.

Myeni said each observer en­gaged signed a ser­vice con­tract.

Sec­tion (2) of the con­tract states that pay­ments by CANGO would be on “a stag­gered ba­sis” and would be sub­ject to pro­vi­sions of each phase of the CANGO observer mis­sion as pro­vided by sched­ule of the Elec­tions and Bound­aries Com­mis­sion; nom­i­na­tions, pri­mary elec­tions and sec­ondary elec­tions and sub­mis­sion of re­port. “The to­tal pay­ment each observer was to re­ceive was E2 500. How­ever, CANGO ended up trans­fer­ring a to­tal of E2 800 per observer through mo­bile money, mean­ing that they were paid an ex­tra E300.

Though CANGO or­gan­ised trans­port, part of the money was to en­able the ob­servers to buy food, pay for trans­port if need be and buy air­time dur­ing the ob­serv­ing pe­riod,” Myeni ex­panded.

How­ever, he stated that the stag­gered ba­sis does not state how much each stage was go­ing to be. These were the trans­fers and CANGO paid costs for with­draw­ing Mo­bile Money.

CANGO hired its in­de­pen­dent ob­servers to mon­i­tor pro­ceed­ings of the elec­tions which ended on Septem­ber 21.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Swaziland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.