via Graft campaign a diversion, critics 04/05/2014 NewZimbabwe
THE government has been accused of embarking on a half-hearted campaign against corruption to divert attention from a failing economy and the ruling Zanu PF party’s failure to deliver on its election promises.
Several top executives in public enterprises have been exposed for taking home huge salaries while the organisations teetered on the brink of collapse with ordinary workers going for months without pay.
But critics and analysts who spoke at a recent public opinion workshop organised by the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute expressed reservations over the campaign.
He said cases of rampant vice in the public and private sectors were reported some three years ago by local media houses and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) but nothing was done.
“The local media and ZCTU in 2011 exposed the shocking salary scales for the top executives in the public sector but nothing was done,” said Bhamu.
Charles Mangongera, a political commentator accused Zanu PF of trying to suppress discontent by shifting public attention from issues affecting most Zimbabweans.
“Zanu PF is very skillful in creating these side-shows to divert people’s attention from the fundamental issues that affect the nation,” said Mangongera.
Government officials have leaked the mega salaries top executives in State-linked institutions to the publicly-owned media, sparking widespread outrage at a time the majority of Zimbabweans are said to survive on less than a dollar a day.
Those targeted include Cuthbert Dube, the head of a government-run health insurance firm who reportedly took home a basic salary of $230,000 per month while the organisation failed to pay service providers forcing members to stump up cash for healthcare.
Former ZBC chief executive, Happison Muchechetere, is also accused of defrauding the insolvent public broadcaster of millions in salaries and allowances while employees struggled for months without pay.
He said the campaign had targeted “small fish” while the real culprits who “have defrauded the nation of billions are walking scot free”.
‘‘These are the small fish that are being targeted but the big fish is still swimming in the stream. We have not started dealing with the grand corruption that is taking place,’’ said Mangongera.