via ‘Mugabe lacks guts to deal with salarygate’ – DailyNews Live by Jeffrey Muvundusi 23 FEBRUARY 2014
Robert Mugabe has no guts to deal with the controversial salarygate saga as all the State enterprises and parastatals are controlled by the shadowy Joint Operation Command (JOC), former State Enterprises and Parastatals minister Gorden Moyo has said.
Moyo told delegates in Bulawayo at an event organised by a cluster of civic society groups on Thursday that the current media exposé on obscene salaries was something way deeper than what people see.
“The problem is deeper than salaries. The salary issue is just a narrow view in the whole issue. There is a deeper problem which is a structural problem,” Moyo said.
“This country is heavily militarised. The military is now involved in every sector of the economy including the informal sector. They have penetrated everywhere. When I was a minister I called those members and they would come to my office and introduce themselves as retired brigadier so and so, retired colonel so and so, retired general, commissioner so and so.”
The Makokoba MDC legislator said the reason why the military was in charge was because the current government has over the years lost legitimacy and it had to be propped up by the army.
“It saved the government from downfall in 2002, 2005 and 2008 elections. So the government has a symbiotic relation with the security sector. No minister will go to the parastatal and say cut your salary because those are the people that saved Zanu PF.
“The Joint Operation Command is the one that is in charge of this country so you cannot cut their salaries. The Cabinet has no powers, it has nominal powers, passive powers so the real power to tackle the rot is a big problem,” he said.
JOC is made up of heads of the other security organs, CIO and Prison Services, and other key State organs with a select few other Zanu PF leaders headed by Mugabe himself.
Moyo said for over a decade the securocrats have ruled Zimbabwe, making all the key political and economic decisions.
“So the president of Zimbabwe has no guts. He cannot stop this problem within the military because there is this relationship between survival of the regime and the military.”
He said that with well-known factions in Zanu PF, it was difficult for Mugabe to intervene as everyone was held hostage by the military.
“The minister in charge of the ministry is the one responsible for appointing the board so they appoint members from their own factions. When a new minister takes office, he removes the old board and replaces it with members from his own faction.
“So we are now witnessing factional politics at play. The biggest headache that Mugabe has is to deal with it. If he tries to deal with it he has a problem of antagonising other factions,” Moyo told delegates.
He attributed the imminent departure of the president due to age as having fuelled the power struggle through the salarygate.
“Our president is 90 and there is something imminent in this country. After 34 years of uninterrupted rule we are about to have a change of guard, therefore the stakes are high.
“With the absence of the opposition within the government there is serious contestation of power within the party. So one of the tools being used to fight each other and to strategically position some people within government is exposing corruption,” the former minister said.
Moyo, who is also the MDC Foreign Affairs shadow minister, said the nation simply has to wait and see as the salarygate was a doomed endeavour.
“These are hard facts. This is the truth and this is one of the challenges that we will have a lot of hullabaloo about the salarygate but very little will happen.”
Moyo described State enterprises and parastatals as mere retirement homes for Zanu PF and its top members.
“These are retirement homes for the military, ex-combatants, ambassadors, ministers and the politburo members who are not in Cabinet. They are then appointed to the board of parastatals. So the parastatals are institutions of government and the party.”
He dismissed the notion that the government was not aware of thousands of cash that were being squandered in the form of salaries on monthly basis.
“In fact no one can get $300 000 per month without the government knowing when we have economic and financial intelligence in the country. That’s impossible, they knew it. They were well aware of it. If that is possible, it means the government can be able to be toppled by anybody because that amount has got the capacity to fund terrorism or opposition,” he said.
He further claimed that the corruption in parastatals was institutionalised as these entities were used to mobilise funds for Zanu PF on different events including elections hence the reason why the government will not take some of them to court.
Moyo said the country was facing what he termed a structural problem, adding that only a structural solution was the way to go.