2 March 2014

Zimbabwe: Zimra Refutes Pasi's Mega Salary Claims

THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has said its commissioner-general, Gershom Pasi does not earn a salary anywhere near US$310 000.

MDC-T Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya said in Parliament on Thursday while debating on a corruption motion, that Pasi was earning a whopping monthly salary of US$310 000 in addition to allowances and other perks.

But Zimra chairperson, Stenford Moyo told The Standard on Friday that the allegations were false.

He said neither former finance minister Tendai Biti nor incumbent Patrick Chinamasa would have approved such an obscene salary.

Moyo said although he could not divulge details of Pasi's salary without his consent, the figure mentioned in Parliament was many times above what he was earning.

"The information given by the honourable MP in parliament is grossly incorrect," he said. "I do not know why the MP did not seek to verify information before going to Parliament to give such incorrect information."

Moyo said the information provided by Chikwinya was dangerous in that taxpayers could stop paying their dues as an impression was created that their contributions were being abused through payment of high salaries.

"Just to clarify, Zimra does not use the money it collects to pay salaries. The money is submitted to the consolidated revenue fund and then Zimra is allocated its share after approval of its budget by the [Zimra] board and the minister of Finance," he said.

Pasi is understood to be in China on business and was not available for comment.

Seconding a motion on the lack of corporate governance in state enterprises moved by Kambuzuma MP, Willas Madzimure, Chikwinya said information in his possession indicated that Pasi was earning a huge salary.

"Our society has information that people like Gershom Pasi are earning US$310 000 per month, but because Parliament has not yet been capacitated to make formal investigations through a select committee of parliament, such information remains unverified, therefore, we move the motion that there be a committee to investigate and make such findings public," Chikwinya said.

In January this year, parliamentarians accused Zimra of awarding its management high salaries that were not commensurate with the macro-economic conditions prevalent in Zimbabwe.

The development comes at a time when most parastatals and state-owned enterprises such as the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), PSMAS, Zesa, as well as the City of Harare have been accused of awarding executives massive salaries despite poor service provision and failure to pay workers their wages.

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