via Zimbabwe government system needs complete overhaul January 25, 2014 NewsDay
The mega-salaries and perks of chief executives and top management in quasi-governmental institutions are nothing other than the symptoms of a corrupt system.
These salaries do not just expose the greed purportedly inherent in the exposed individuals as some top officials would want us to believe, they show us a system of governance that is rotten to the core.
The fact that shocking salaries being exposed are found within parastatals shows that it is the national system of governance that has gone to the dogs. Parastatals are governed through Acts of Parliament and they fall under the purview of government ministries.
We should not be fooled into believing that what we are seeing is the exposure of greedy individuals whose subsequent punishment would deal a major blow to corruption.
This is not about the Cuthbert Dubes and the Happison Muchecheteres; this is about a whole system whose culture is hinged on corruption and patronage.
The Dubes and the Muchecheteres are small fry in a sea of corruption and they can be culled. But who is more culpable, the one who proposed the salaries or the one who approved them?
It is fact that in such a rotten system as the one obtaining in this country, crimes such as the misuse of public money are softened to look like technical offences that do not require severe punishment.
We only hear of equally soft actions such as suspensions and salary cuts, nothing about prosecutions. It is obvious that if action is taken to root out corruption, then the system would be utterly destroyed or rather, it would destroy itself.
The only satisfaction the suffering public and subordinates get out of such scenarios is the exposure of weak individuals in the chain who are used as buffer for the big fish.
The point we are making here is that the problem of corruption is fundamental and institutional.
The Dubes and the Muchecheteres only take advantage of a permissive and supportive system to corruptly misuse public funds by awarding themselves unreasonably large perks.
It is a shuddering thought to imagine what the big fish, who give the green light for such corrupt activities, are doing behind the scenes. These people, we can safely imagine, are making a killing for they control access to the nation’s natural resources such as diamonds, gold, land, etc.
It would be naïve to assume that while they facilitate corruption among their subordinates their moral compass points them to a clean life. It is a pity that we see instances where the politician is called in instead of the police to solve obvious criminal matters such as the misuse of public funds.
Politicians simply cover up by pretending to take “stern” action.
They can’t do anything else as they know fully well the boomerang effect of such actions as prosecuting the individuals who would have been exposed.
They cannot risk having the whole system exposed. It is our contention that as long as corruption is looked at in individual terms nothing will change. We need a complete overhaul of the system.