via No arrests for salarygate fat cats | The Herald 3 July, 2014 by Lloyd Gumbo
Salarygate beneficiaries will not be arrested for earning huge sums of money because their packages were legally approved by their respective boards, police have said.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Thematic Committee on Human Rights yesterday, Zimbabwe Republic Police Deputy Director, Legal Services (Civil Process) Assistant Commissioner Takawira Nzombe said salarygate was a governance issue that could be addressed without police involvement.
Asst Comm Nzombe — who was standing in for ZRP Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri — said people like former Premier Service Medical Aid Society chief executive officer Dr Cuthbert Dube were clean as far as the police were concerned.
Asst Comm Nzombe said the PSMAS board had approved Mr Dube’s salary, adding that they only arrested people who committed criminal offences.
“So in terms of the Companies Act, Cuthbert Dube’s salary was approved by the board, which appointed him and gave him conditions of service, which conditions he actually says here are my conditions and he has a contract to that effect.
“Unfortunately, when these things come out, our friends — the Fourth estate (the media) — write about them, the perception is that this person has committed a criminal offence. But as long as it was approved by the board, he has not committed an offence.”
He said while it was morally wrong for Dr Dube to be paid huge sums of money at the expense of service delivery, that did not constitute a criminal offence. Asst Comm Nzombe said it was up to the Government to plug loopholes in corporate governance.
“Happison Muchechetere also was getting huge salaries of US$40 000 per month and his maids were paid by the company but his workers went for months without being paid.
“What we arrested Happison for was not for that salary. It was for the tender, that OB Van, which he got from China that is before the courts now. The tender procedure was it done properly and things like that? That’s when we say there is corruption and a criminal offence that has been committed. But when it comes to salaries, our hands are tied as ZRP,” said Asst Comm Nzombe.
According to a Government pay schedule released in March this year, most heads of parastatals were paying themselves “obscene” salaries despite the fact that some of the entities were not performing.
As a result, Cabinet in March approved an interim measure by putting a salary cap of US$6 000 per month for the highest paid employee at an Government- linked entity.
However, there are indications that the directive has not been implemented because Government has not officially communicated the position to all State-linked entities.
According to the schedule, Mr Dube earned about $530 000 per month followed by NetOne managing director, Mr Reward Kangai who got about $43 500 monthly, while Mr Muchechetere was entitled to about $37 000.
It was obvious the CEOs wouldnt be arrested for earning their legally negotiated salaries. Probably one or two CEOs might be called fat cats but its very unfair to label every CEO a fat cat. Some of them deserve the salaries they are earning. The $6000 cap introduced was a joke considering the responsibilities they shoulder. Its not every jack and jill who can be CEO. Why then should they be paid a jack and jill salary. What would the professionals who work under them earn?
How far things have fallen, no conscience, no care and not even ashamed…Lord have mercy
The whole issue of salary gate is a ruse? What a waste of time!!!!
Why doesn’t the Herald clarify if income tax was paid on these bloated amounts. Surely they have a case to answer if they evaded paying income tax and should be pursued by Zimra. Where are the representatives of the PSMAS members in all this when ordinary members couldn’t get treatment while the CEO earned over $ 500,000 a month. How in the world can a board get away this sort of activity? Cutbert Dube’s financial affairs need to be scrutinised as I cannot believe that the board made this decision in the best interest of the PSMAS & it’s members.
So all those employees who did not get paid for months are left with nothing again. ZANU AT IT AGAIN.
How do you arrest the salary recipients without starting with the person who authorised the rot, not just in this particular instance but throughout the shell of a country we call home? Mugabe knew from the onset what these people earned because a lot of that money benefited ministers and Zanu p.f. as a party. Remember Muchechetere bought Shamu, the then Information Minister, a land cruiser.
The issue is that MDs are party of the board even though there are not directly involved in their package negotiations they have significant influence. Directors have fiduciary duty to the stakeholder who includes service providers. The problem is that politicians are involved and hence they are not seeing any wrong doing. The other problem is that there is no code of conduct for directors in the country as in other counties. There is a need to have Corporate Governance Code like in other countries as SA, King 111, OECD, and UK code to guard against.