23 January 2014

Zimbabwe: Government Urged to Clampdown On Obscene Salaries

Photo: Nehanda Radio
PSMAS salaries.

The ruling ZANU PF government should curb obscene salaries for heads of parastatals as a matter of urgency, the opposition MDC-T party said on Thursday.

Douglas Mwonzora, spokesman for the MDC-T, said the level of CEO remuneration in the public sector is sending out the wrong message to the average worker.

His comments follow a report in the Herald that showed the salary schedule of the top management at the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS), which is gobbling up at least US$1 million in monthly salaries for senior management. PSMAS is the largest medical aid society in Zimbabwe catering for more than 600,000 people, most of whom are in the civil service and uniformed forces.

At the same time the PSMAS is tottering under a US$38 million debt. The state controlled daily said as of December 31st the society owed service providers US$38 million in unpaid bills for medical services rendered to its members.

Documents show that the PSMAS group chief executive Cuthbert Dube earned a basic monthly salary of US$230,000. Dube is also the current chairman of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) and former board chairman of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).

He is believed to have been the board member who authorized suspended ZBC chief executive Happison Muchechetere's basic salary of $27,000, along with a monthly allowance of $3,000 and another $2,500 for his domestic staff.

Mwonzora said there is justified public outrage at the obscenely large executive compensation, adding that government should regulate compensations for all parastatal heads.

'We can't ignore what is happening in certain sectors which border on poor board decisions and greed,' he said disclosing that their party will table a parliamentary debate on high salaries in the public sector.

Mwonzora said the MDC-T raised the issue of salaries during the inclusive government but ZANU PF was not interested to listen to their concerns because they wanted to protect their 'friends and cronies.'

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