via Probe all parastatals: citizens | The Zimbabwean 10.02.14 by Sofia Mapuranga
Zimbabweans have called for transparency and accountability regarding the manner in which government will act on company executives who were earning obscene salaries against poor service delivery and wide wage disparities between the top brass and ordinary workers.
Said a Chitungwiza Town Council worker who refused to be identified: “We only received $200 last week as part payment of our salaries,” said the worker adding that top management at the local authority should also furnish residents and the rest of the citizens with their salaries if they had no case to answer.
Last week, the Chitungwiza Progressive Residents Association demanded a salary schedule for the local authority’s top managers, following revelations that Harare Town Clerk, Tendai Mahachi and his management team earned over $500 000 in salaries and allowances every month.
Passmore Jongwe from Highfield called for the probing of all companies executives especially those heading government parastatals.
Said Jongwe: “It is wrong if we are going to just bring these issues to the fore and leave them there without ensuring that justice takes its course on such people. Failure to prosecute company executives sets bad precedence to youths who are the future leaders.”
“The Premier Service Medical Aid Society board for example has 15 people, yet we are only concentrating on two people. What then happens to the other 13 members? Are we going to leave them like that and act like nothing happened?,” queried Jongwe.
Reports indicate that the PSMAS boss, Cuthbert Dube earned a monthly salary of $230 000 which translated to half a million dollars when his allowances were factored in.
Bothwell Nyandoro accused Zanu (PF) of gross incompetencies not only in ensuring transparency and accountability but of being part of the rot that had destroyed the country’s economy.
“When a political party stays in power for too long, they become complacent. The obscene salaries are a result of the gross incompetencies by Zanu (PF) cronies,” he said, citing the presidential spokesperson, George Charamba as an example of the party’s top brass who had failed in executing his mandate.
Shabanie Magudu suggested that the huge disparities between salaries for top council management and ordinary workers was a reflection that the government had failed in ensuring economic justice for Zimbabwean workers.
“There are huge disparities between what executives and management are earning yet the same institutions are failing in delivering their core mandate, let alone pay the workers their paltry wages,” he said.
He cited the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation where ordinary workers had gone for close to seven months with no salaries , yet the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Happiness Muchechetere earned $40 000 a month.
Another Glen Norah resident, Rockwell Makusha called for strengthening of monitoring mechanisms on the country’s major parastatals.
“The government should appoint competent individuals in public institutions because appointing people along partisan lines has proved disastrous,” he said, adding that failure to do this had the potential to further cripple the already ailing parastatals.
Said Florence Gwangure: “Government should regulate the salaries of everyone and reign in on errant parastatals who defy the stipulated salary guidelines.
“Giving them the freedom to regulate themselves has proved costly because organisations such as PSMAS are abusing taxpayers’ money while people are dying because doctors are refusing to attend to patients who subscribe to PSMAS, which is failing to pay its debts to medical practitioners,” she said.
Another Sunningdale resident, Kudakwashe Domborembwa urged government to relive the ‘salarygate culprits’ of their duties to allow for investigations.
Said Domboremwa: “We would rather have a leadership vacuum in all these parastatals than have greedy people at the helm who are only bent on milking money against service delivery.”
Others said if independent investigations are carried out, ”Zanu (PF) stalwarts would be implicated.”
Gift Dube called for investigations regarding who had drafted the PSMAS boss’s contract.
“This is a chain and like a web, there are so many tangles and contributions from everyone especially government officials. They should be fired for gross incompetence because if they were not part of this chain, why were they sleeping on the job?” said Dube.
Said a resident who refused to be identified: “All this will die a natural death when the big fish are implicated. What happened when the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission probed senior Zanu cronies? Its members were prosecuted. When we reach the stage where it implicates the big fish, that will be the end of the story.”