via Cuthbert Dube off the hook – NewsDay Zimbabwe January 31, 2014 by Paidamoyo Muzulu
Former ZBC chairman Cuthbert Dube will not be prosecuted for administrative bungling at the State broadcaster where he approved outrageous salaries and allowances for top management.
This was said on Wednesday by Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo who added that booting him out of the board was enough punishment.
Dube stands accused of negotiating and approving pay hikes of senior managers without the approval of the entire board.
Moyo said Dube, who unilaterally increased the salary and allowances of ZBC chief executive Happison Muchechetere to $40 000 a month, had done nothing illegal.
“Making a wrong decision or taking a wrong decision is not illegal — it gets you fired. We have already taken an administrative action by relieving him of his duties,” Moyo said.
The ministry has also sent Muchechetere on forced leave with full benefits.
Moyo also revealed that his ministry had taken remedial action by slashing top management’s salaries at ZBC to 2010 levels.
“In view of these anomalies, particularly the fact that the current salaries at ZBC were not approved by the board, it is necessary for ZBC to now revert with immediate effect to the salaries that were approved by the board in 2010.”
He said the quantum of the 2010 salaries was enough to meet the current cost of living.
Meanwhile, the minister said the forensic audit at the public broadcaster will not be completed within the next six months.
The ministry approached the Auditor and Comptroller-
General’s office to engage an independent forensic auditing firm by tender to scrutinise ZBC.
Moyo said the tendering process was nearly complete and a firm would be appointed soon to start work.
“After appointing an audit company we do not expect any preliminary findings within the next six months as the exercise should be very comprehensive,” he said.
The ministry’s next course of action will be guided by the auditors’ recommendations, Moyo said.
He said the forensic audit would determine what the national broadcaster had been prejudiced of as there was enough evidence already to show that some senior managers abused ZBC funds and assets in a manner that displayed gross negligence and criminal conduct.
Barely three months after he was relieved of his duties as ZBC board chairman, Dube was unceremoniously “retired” from PSMAS where he was chief executive officer after it was revealed that he awarded himself an exorbitant basic salary amounting to $230 000 at the health insurance provider. The salary made him arguably one of the highest paid executives in the country.