Zimbabweans round on ‘fat cat’ state executives

via Zimbabweans round on ‘fat cat’ state executives | The Source January 31, 2014

It’s not just Wall Street or London’s Square Mile where “fat cat” salaries trigger banner headlines and howls of outrage from activists and lawmakers.

In cash-strapped and deeply impoverished Zimbabwe, newspapers have kept their readers riveted for weeks with revelations about managers of state-owned firms pocketing millions of dollars in pay while the economy stagnates.

Some analysts suggest the government may be letting the stories run to distract the public from the parlous state of the broader economy.

But the revelations have also tapped into genuine concern in the ruling party about the money soaked up by perennially loss-making state companies.

Amid a rising chorus of public anger, President Robert Mugabe’s government this week pressured a health insurer that covers government employees to oust chief executive Cuthbert Dube.

Dube earned a monthly base salary of $230,000, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told parliament – more than 600 times the $370 average for a government worker.

Documents seen by Reuters showed Dube’s Premier Service Medical Society had debts of $38 million but 14 managers were paid nearly half the firm’s $33 million salary bill last year.

Dube declined to comment.

In a rare moment of political unity, Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change are calling for the worst offenders to be dismissed and arrested for abusing public funds at the parastatals, as they are known.

“An exercise has started through the office of the President and Cabinet to investigate the remuneration given to all parastatals,” Chinamasa told MPs this week.


At the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), the nation’s only broadcaster and a loyal Mugabe mouthpiece, chief executive Happison Muchechetere was suspended by the government in December after workers went seven months without pay.

Before his removal, Muchechetere was receiving $40,000 a month in pay and perks, while other executives drew hefty weekly allowances and had most of their bills paid by the ZBC, according to interim results of a government investigation.

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo labeled some of the payments “disguised theft” at a press conference this week.

A copy of Muchechetere’s contract printed in the state-owned Herald newspaper on Wednesday fuelled the growing outrage.

It showed ZBC paid for his fuel, local holidays and four house-maids. The company also gave him an unlimited entertainment allowance and a housing stipend even after it had paid off his mortgage, according to the paper.

Muchechetere could not be reached for comment. He told a privately-owned radio station after his suspension last month that he was “not bothered” by the accusations.

Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni suspended the capital’s town clerk on Thursday after a council salary schedule leaked to the local press showed he was on a base monthly salary of $37,000.

“The government would rather see this go on for a while because for a moment it takes the focus off the economy which is in all sorts of problems,” Harare-based economist, John Robertson, told Reuters.

Meanwhile, most city workers have not received their December wages, while the capital’s 1.2 million residents endure a daily grind of burst sewers, water shortages, power cuts and bone-jarring pot-holes.


  • comment-avatar

    The snake biting itself WATCH THIS SPACE…….

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    Nyoni 7 years ago

    This storm in the teacup must not go away. ZANU MUST REALIZE THEY MUST START TO PERFORM OR ELSE. Vacate Parliament House .

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    Rukweza 7 years ago

    South africa is a country where blacks are not equal to whites&botswana is a puppet of america yet zimbabwe has the worst treatment of it’s citizen going for years without pay denied demostration without police clearance,you deserve it mamama the most dull so called educated in africa with nothing to show

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      Makonyonga Furudhom Hi Tingisi. 7 years ago

      Crrection, Botswana is no puppet of the US Rukweza. They are a democratic and very successful country with good economic ties with the west. Dont be jealous of good gorvenance.

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    John Thomas 7 years ago

    Who is surprised by any of this? Is there any thinking person who did not know long ago that this is what “liberation” is all about. I will be very surprised if Cuthbert ever sees the inside of a jail cell.

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    Ruramai 7 years ago

    It is annoying when Mugabe and his ministers now want to pretend not to know what they authorized. They share in these spoils, that’s why no one will be punished.

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    All talk! Government is desperately trying to find scapegoats when they allowed all this looting and corruption to happen. They do the same. ALL OF THEM!

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    A looting continues! A luta continua! That’s the Zanu slogan since coming to power in 1980. Why are the dull, slow thinking and daft Zim surprised. Zanu and it’s leadership steal. Chombo stole. What happened to him? The late Mujuru stole a white man’s cattle and sold them. What happened? They all STEAL!! Shame, shame, shame!!!.

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      Mupurisa 7 years ago

      How can you say what happened to him? (Mujuru)Where have you been in the last 3 years?? Munhu atoenda zveekare!! – every dog has it’s day!!? And trust me, what comes around – goes around. As ‘HUTU’ always says ; ” Watch this space!” Mwari vanopa!

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    Chatunga 7 years ago

    These govt ministers had their palms generously greased by the fat cats. No same minister can proffess ignorance about goings on at zbc when workers would endure six months without salaries

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    I really hope our looters are also connected to the internet to see what harm they have done to their fellow countrymen.If they are connected then they should follow Mr Sam Polk who left Wall Street to release or set himself free from this love for money disease.In his video yesterday he went into pains to explain what this love for money really does to you as a human being.
    In short he said it enslave you and you keep on wanting more and more until you destroy yourself.He is just 34 years old,he could have gone on with it for more years BUT he had courage to stop it ,therefore its not to late for our country to stop this rot.

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      Mupurisa 7 years ago

      Shamwari, courage yakatengwa neZanu kudhara. Where will we import real courage from? This is Zimbabwe we are talking about, we can hardly grow food or maize, let alone ‘courage’!!

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    Aiwa! Chitsva chii ipapa mbudzi kudya mufenje hufana nyina,maiti zvaigoenda nepi mbudzi inoita mhanza mumabvi, chakatanga ndochakachenjedza. Yava nhau yekuti zvino chadya achembere chii bere ramama imvi kaiyi. Chembere haidzoke veduwe. Huori hwerudzi urwu hauvake nyika. Lets not hide behind ZANU PF as we systematically loot. Honestly may l appeall to the powers that are in the ruling part curtail this disgraceful behaviour which defies all economic logic

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    Harper 7 years ago

    In 1980 ZANU’s election slogan was up with the cock. They won and you got it.

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    Harper.. it is nice when we get new contributions. I have to say my friend 1980 is long gone as is 1970. What we try to do here is 2014. Try to move on.

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    Fellow Zimbabwean, let us refuse to be taken for granted by this ruining ZanuPFutseki. They want to create an impression of a government ready to deal with corruption, bad governance and all evils associated with immoral business behavior yet we know they are the masters of deception. We need answers to the following questions:
    1. Who crafted and signed Muchechetere’s contract? – Surely he was reporting to someone.
    2. What happened to Masimirembwa $6 million dollar diamond scam?
    3. Shall we expect any meaningfull redress on the Cat Fat executives?- No.

    Zimbabwe is run by a Mafia and the Mafia King is BOB. He knows all the goings on. He gets updates on who is who, who is where,who is doing what every wednesday & yet today he claims ignorance.

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    ZimJim 7 years ago

    The penny finally drops!…
    Bob & Co. are nothing more than thieves.

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    Havanyani 7 years ago

    It is said that the only way you can endure in Mugabe’s administration is if he can pin something on you. There is dossier kept in reserve for every one of his men, with acceptable dirt in it. You stray and you get nabbed. Squeaky clean individuals are not welcome into the fold. It’s a standard Machiavellian tactic.

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    Panda moyo 7 years ago

    Unfortunately the top judges are handpicked so are the police chiefs so who wil arrest the looters, surely one can not arrest other handpicked pple.its a syndicate

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    munzwa 7 years ago

    just can not get away from that race card can you Rukweza, these looters are across the board what do YOU want to do about it????

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    Samaita Dube 7 years ago

    Siyanai naSamaita wangu. When he joined the PSMI, it was nothing but a loss making parastatal. Now it owns State of the art hospitals, clinics, pharmacies etc. It is now a blue chip corporation. We are told only of its debts, but not of the net worth. Where is the balance? This crucifixion is just scapegoating. Besides we all know that the US Dollar is greatly undervalued in Zim, hence the we cannot compare salaries kuStates, RSA or elsewhere with our crazy country.