3 February 2014

Zimbabwe: From Best Paid CEO to 'Squatter' At Medical Aid Society Building

Cuthbert Dube, the retired Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) chief executive officer, has effectively been a 'squatter' at the six storey PSMAS building in central Harare since he was dismissed from his highly paid job last week.

Dube got the sack when it was discovered that he earned half a million dollars every month, almost twice the $230,000 initially reported, when his generous allowances were factored in.

The veteran administrator received allowances equivalent to his monthly basic salary of $230,000 plus a bonus of over $1 million. This brought his annual earnings in 2013 to $6.4 million. But the mega rich former boss has been refusing to vacate his position.

Despite being shown the exit door, Dube has defiantly remained at his post, with the Daily News reporting that the PSMAS board last week Thursday convened a special meeting to try and come up with ways to have the former CEO vacate his office.

The paper said when they visited the PSMAS headquarters Dube, now dubbed 'Cashbert', was still in his office.

Political analyst Mutsa Murenje told SW Radio Africa on Monday that Dube had built an aura of invincibility around him and his allies and that his dominance means people will struggle to challenge his powers.

The Herald reported on Monday that Dube could also own as much as 20 percent of a key subsidiary of the enterprise, an official close to the firm has revealed. The paper said a new board is investigating how Dube allegedly came to own 20 percent of PSMI, which is the PSMAS investment arm.

'The board would like to know how such a huge stake fell into the hands of one employee and whether the equity was paid for or was part of his incentives package,' the paper added.

'This is a man who has been fired and continues to report for work as if nothing has happened,' said Murenje, amid reports even board members and cabinet ministers were not comfortable dealing with his case as they reportedly benefitted from his benevolence.

Murenje said government must keep a tight lid on state run institutions if they wanted to restore some sanity into the parastatals, whose CEO's are receiving astronomical perks and bloated salaries.

Dube is also the chairman of the Zimbabwe Football Association, ZIFA, and as chair of the ZBC is known to have facilitated the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation CEO Happison Muchechetere's hefty package, amounting to over $40,000 a month as workers wallowed in poverty.

But Information Minister Jonathan Moyo has moved in to shield Dube from the ZBC scandal, saying he has been punished enough. Moyo said Dube had done nothing illegal and that 'making a wrong decision or taking a wrong decision is not illegal - it gets you fired.'

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