via Govt to act on parastatal pay rot | The Herald January 16, 2014 by Tendai Mugabe
Government will regulate hefty salaries and perks paid to parastatal bosses – some of whom are understood to be earning US$50 000 monthly – by promulgating a new pay structure soon.Although most parastatals and State enterprises are struggling financially and are drain to the fiscus instead of contributing to economic growth and development, top executives there take home tens of thousands in salaries as well as in fuel, school fees, entertainment and other allowances.
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Mr George Charamba told The Herald yesterday that the new salary framework was being structured by the Office of the President and Cabinet, led by Chief Secretary Dr Misheck Sibanda.
Mr Charamba said the Office of the President and Cabinet took on the initiative because the country no longer had a ministry or specific department responsible for parastatals and State-owned enterprises.
“An exercise is already underway to work out a salary framework for CEOs and heads of institutions that fall under the Government,” he said.
“We no longer have the Ministry of Parastatals and the Parastatals Commission, and so that initiative now comes under the Office of the President and Cabinet.”
Mr Charamba said parastatals were not only earning salaries far above agreed levels, but also beyond the sustainability of the institutions.
He said there were some serious discrepancies in the salary structures in most Government institutions that required urgent attention.
Mr Charamba cited the case of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe where its chief executive, Mr Happison Muchechetere, was earning a package in the region of US$40 000 while the rest of the workers at the national broadcaster went for seven months without salaries.
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo recently suspended the ZBC boss after it emerged he was earning a huge salary while the broadcaster under-performed.
Mr Charamba said full realisation of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Social Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset) was only possible if matters like salaries at parastatals were addressed.
“Generally, parastatals constitute about 60 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and if they are under- performing it translates to 60 percent of negative operation,” he said. “Now, the implementation of Zim-Asset rests on how we manage to address this crucial sector.”
Mr Charamba did not give a date when the new salary structure would be in place although he indicated that Government was treating the issue with urgency.
Most parastatals are underperforming and speculation is rife that much of their resources are being channelled towards salaries and perks for bosses.
Notable examples of ailing parastatals are the National Railways of Zimbabwe, Air Zimbabwe and the Grain Marketing Board.
Those that are doing well, like the Zimbabwe National Road Administration and the ZImbabwe Mining Development Corporation, stand accused of not doing enough to contribute to national development.