President Robert Mugabe knew of the obscene salaries earned by executives in public institutions as far back as four years ago but did not act, a former cabinet minister has said.
Former minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals, Gorden Moyo, said that he presented details on corporate corruption to a full cabinet meeting and Mugabe was made aware of the extent of the rot.
Moyo's comments come after minister of State in the President's Office, Didymus Mutasa, claimed that prior to the ongoing exposés Mugabe was not aware of the 'obscene salaries.' Mutasa was quoted in the press claiming that Mugabe is a 'principled man' who could not have ignored the extent of corruption in public institutions.
But speaking on SW Radio Africa's Cutting Edge programme on Wednesday Moyo said details were contained in a report compiled by his ministry following a six month investigation exercise. According to Moyo out of the country's 78 parastatals only 45 responded to their research while only 35 revealed the salaries of their top management. At the time, Moyo said, the average salary of an executive was between $15,000 and $20,000 a month, minus the allowances and benefits.
Moyo also revealed that cabinet then directed that all the ministries whose parastatals were cited in the report should act on the issue of the high salaries. Moyo said his ministry was later informed that the salaries had been cut to between $3,000 and $5,000 a month.
Moyo said: 'We were just told, but as you already know that was a lie. Behind the scenes they just increased the salaries.'
The MP for Makokoba said the results of their research led to the corporate governance framework document, which clearly stated who should sit on a parastatal board and who should not. The document also recommended how salaries should be bracketed and how allowances should be decided. According this document Presidential spokesman George Charamba was an 'improper' member of the Premier Service Medial Aid Society board, where he earned $100, 000 as a board member last year.
Moyo said Zimbabweans should not expect any of the disgraced executives to be prosecuted because they were earning some of the money on behalf of the service chiefs and operatives in the President's Office.
Little has yet been done about the corruption in parastatals but on Tuesday transport minister Obert Mpofu dissolved the board of the corruption-embattled Air Zimbabwe, alongside those of four other parastatals.
The national airline is at the center of an $11 million insurance scam which has led to the conviction of company secretary Grace Pfumbidzayi by a disciplinary tribunal. Other parastatals whose boards were dissolved are National Railways of Zimbabwe, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe National Road Administration and the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe.