7 February 2014

Zimbabwe: Labour Demands Salary Scandal Arrests

THE government has come under fire for allegedly not taking action against individuals implicated in the on-going salary scandal at struggling State enterprises amid indications top administration officials may also have been on the take.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU said the Zanu PF government was not an innocent bystander in the alleged looting.

"We believe that the companies had become a looting haven for loyalists seconded to these positions by government authorities," said ZCTU's secretary general Japhet Moyo on Friday

Moyo demanded accountability through arrests and investigations on how public funds were abused by those entrusted to deliver services on behalf of the people.

Unless this was done, corruption would remain a major challenge, hindering economic development.

"Despite recent revelations of scandalously hefty salaries and benefits at ZBC, PSMAS, Marange Resources and Harare City Council, the response (by government) has been ambivalent signalling connivance in some quarters," Moyo said.

At ZBC, suspended chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere, was alleged to be earning $40,000 at a time workers at the insolvent corporation went for seven months without pay.

Former PSMAS chief executive officer, Cuthbert Dube was earning a staggering $500,000 as salary and allowances while the medical insurer failed to pay service providers and struggled with huge debts.

"The ZCTU, since 2011, has been calling for the probing of executive salaries but the demands have fallen on deaf ears," Moyo said.

At Harare City council, Town clerk, Tendai Mahachi and his directors have also been exposed as earning average salaries of $36,000 monthly while general workers are still to receive their November and December salaries.

Mahachi was last week suspended by Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni, before being reinstated by Local Government Minister, Ignatius Chombo.

"The government has the duty to act swiftly but it seems its hands are tied as some of its officials are part of the looting team," Moyo said.

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