via Of Wages, Degrees and Awards: Alex Magaisa JANUARY 24, 2014 By Dr Alex T Magaisa NehandaRadio
People earn fame or notoriety for different reasons.
Mr Cuthbert Dube has earned his notoriety on account of his wages, which most Zimbabweans believe to be obscene considering the state of the country’s economy and the national average wage which struggles to hit the $500 mark for the roughly 20% still fortunate enough to be in employment.
Mr Dube, who is the CEO of the PSMAS – the medical aid society for public servants – earns a whooping $230 000.00 per month! Pronounced Pis-mas, Zimbabweans can be excused for asking, “Are you taking the p*ss?!”
A few weeks ago, when it was revealed that a certain Mr Happyson Muchechetere CEO of the ZBC, the state-owned broadcasting company (still the country’s sole television broadcaster although they have the nerve to advertise their only station “the number 1 television station in the land”), earns circa. $40 000.00 per month, Zimbabweans gasped for breath, shocked by its magnitude.
This wage is paid by company that is not only literally bankrupt (it would be dead but for its “strategic importance” as a propaganda machine) but has been unable to pay workers’ wages for nine months (how on earth did they survive?). In December, they allegedly received $50 payments in wages. Yes, 50 Jambi!
Now, it turns out Mr Dube of Pis-mas (seriously), was the chairman of the ZBC Board of Directors, which presumably would have approved the Happy one’s $40 000.00 per month wage. Clearly, Mr Dube did not bate an eyelid, probably wondering why a CEO of a strategic state corporation that is so patriotic would accept so little by way of returns! Happyson was a featherweight many rungs below Mr Dube’s heavyweight ranks but a happy featherweight nevertheless. Who wouldn’t be?
But we had to check Mr Dube’s profile on his company’s website to find out just who this fellow is and what he has done to deserve so much in a sea of poverty. We were quite amused by our discoveries. And, as you will see, Mr Dube is no ordinary man.
He is Chairman of 13 corporate entities. Yes, thirteen! (Although to be fair, he is in pretty good company in Zimbabwe’s “scratch my back and I will scratch yours tiny corporate world”. He is also the President of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) which is supposed to run football in Zimbabwe but in fact is a museum of ineptitude, poor performance and corruption.
To his credit (as if he doesn’t have too much already) on more than one occasion he has been a knight in shining armour, coming to the rescue of the national soccer team when it was in financial dire-straits. But now we know how he could afford such generosity at a time when most people could not buy a loaf of bread.
Mr Dube is also a committee member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA – continental and world football governing bodies respectively – themselves not unfamiliar territories of sleaze and corruption. He would have been in good company, learning a few tricks of the “trade”.
Besides, sitting on those committees (even if you spend your time sleeping) must come with hefty foreign currency denominated allowances. And from what we have read in the past it’s fair to imagine that voting rights in CAF and FIFA are measured in gold, since their version of democracy is known to be quite an expensive affair (well, least they don’t mutilate each other)
This rich dish of leadership positions is garnished with two patronships, one for an association of journalists and another for an association of the disabled – what a good and kindhearted man.
Most of us struggle with one job. Time is just not enough even for our single jobs. We wonder just how Mr Dube manages to give sufficient time to all these high profile responsibilities most of which are by no means ceremonial. He is a very busy man.
Now 13 Chairmanships in Zimbabwe’s notoriously incestuous corporate world is not unusual except in this case we can’t help but notice that 8 of them are of companies in the health/medical-related industry.
Two of them are major and widely used private hospitals, West End and Claybank. All of this raises major issues of conflicts of interest. Whose interests would Mr Dube promote the most – those of the state-related Pis-mas or the private hospitals and other companies? Uuum … It doesn’t smell pretty. Not pretty at all. We wonder if he doesn’t have shares in those companies?
We notice that Mr Dube is actually not just Mr Dube. We have been disrespectful all along! He is actually Dr Dube. The profile advises us, “Dr Dube holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration and a Doctorate in Business Administration”. And it ends there. Which is rather unusual.
Because normally, MBA and Doctoral graduates would be proud to announce the institutions from which they acquired their grand qualifications. Especially in an age when academic qualifications are being traded online for cash. You want people to know it’s from a reputable institution. This rather small detail does not bother Dr Dube, no.
We told you that Dr Dube is no ordinary man. He doesn’t just have a high wage but he also has a seat in high places which consequently means a battalion of friends in high places.
He is chairman of Jongwe Printing and Publishing Pvt Ltd, a company that is closely connected, if not owned completely, by a major political party which is also the current ruling party and has been the ruling party since 1980. If you hadn’t guessed already, the party is called Zanu PF. Enough said.
Except we must add that according to the profile he is also Chairman of the People’s Voice newspaper, which is the Zanu PF voice – is it still in existence, the People’s Voice that is? But so is the ZBC, over which he presided before the recent dissolution of the Board. So no, Dr Dube is no ordinary man. He is a cadre who sits among and dines with those who have died for this country.
We were particularly drawn to the section of his lavish profile which records the numerous “prestigious awards” that he has received in his career. The majority of the profiled international awards are conspicuous by the absence of names of the institutions which awarded them.
This, at the very least, makes it impossible to determine the pedigree of the said accolades. Interestingly, the local ones are specifically named. For example, we know from the profile that Dr Dube was “Manager of the Year”, awarded by the Zimbabwe Institute of Management in 2002. We have not verified this but we presume it is correct.
What we find odd however, is that in 2004, he supposedly received a “Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Business Practice from a Geneva-based Institute (Switzerland)”. Which is this Geneva-based institute that cannot be named? Surely, it has a name, if it exists. We would excuse is as a faux-pas if it were the only one.
But there is also the “International Golden Award for Quality and Business Prestige from a Berlin–based Institute (Germany)” said to have been received in 2009. Again, a “Berlin-based institute” that refuses to be named.
We also see that there is the “International Star for Quality Award from a Geneva-based Institute (Switzerland) in 2010. Another “Geneva-based institute” that for whatever reason that we do not and may never know can’t be named.
As the list goes on, even the effort at making reference to an “institute based” somewhere is done away with as in regard to the “Global Award for Perfection, Quality and Ideal Performance conferred on him in Berlin, Germany in 2010″. By whom, we are not told. We know it’s a perfect salary; we are just not sure about the quality or the performance.
Finally, we read of the grandiosely titled “Majestic Five Continents Award for Quality and Excellence conferred on him in Rome, Italy in 2011″ and the “Diamond Award conferred on him on 28 May 2012 in New York, United States of America”.
By whom in Rome or New York, we are not favoured with that information. Not that we really care for the awards but if someone is going to list them, surely specific information would be appropriate. As it is, it’s erm … quite shady and rather dubious.
And we are rather disappointed that all these are awards are from Western-based institutions. None from the East. Geneva, Rome, Berlin, New York and none from Beijing? Perhaps there are no Beijing-based institutes that confer “Diamond awards for Perfection, Quality and Ideal Performance” …
There you have it. And we are not even asking for $230 000.00 (although that would be nice.)