Issue 1- e-Corruption Alerts- February 2014- Corruption in Zimbabwean Parastatals

Welcome to our e-Corruption Alerts!

 The e-Corruption Alerts is part of the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa)’s Corruption Media Monitoring Project (CMMP), which monitors and analyses media reports on corruption and related issues. The weekly e-Corruption Alerts  gives an analysis of cases of corruption reported in the media. Furthermore, it gives full details of the articles as well as their authors.

This edition zooms on media articles on scandals rocking the Zimbabwean parastatals with a special attention to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS). The Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of ZBC and PSMAS were allegedly paid obscene salaries that far exceeds what other CEOs in the region are paid.

Making matters worse is the fact that these two institutions are facing viability problems which speaks volumes about the poor and deplorable performance of the respective CEOs and members of their Boards of Directors.

 According to Nyashanu (2014) “Muchechetere was awarding himself a package in excess of $40 000 which included a US$27 000 monthly salary, allowances of up to $6 000, unlimited fuel allocation, payment of his mortgage, construction of a leasure area including a precast wall at his residence, and payment of as much as $2500 for his domestic workers’ wages”[1] The former PSMAS CEO, Mr. Cuthert Dube earned a monthly salary of US$230,000.[2]  The salaries are outrageous considering the salary levels in the United States among other countries.[3] President Barack Obama earns US$400,000  per annum.[4]

 Comparatively, other CEOs of parastatals in the region earn much less. In Namibia and in line with a Cabinet decision made in 2010, parastatals were framed in three  categories: Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 and each category was given a minimum and maximum salary for CEOs.

 a)      Tier 1 CEO earns between N$401,199 (US$36,472.64[5])  and N$803 413 (US$73,037.55) annually;

b)     Tier 2 CEO earns between N$451 739 (US$41,067.18) and N$987 197 (US$89,745.18) annually; and

c)      Tier 3  CEO earns betweenf N$709 722 (US$64,520) and N$1 532 828 (US$139,348) per annum.[6]

Apart from the salaries the ZBC CEO and other officials “…unprocedurally set up a housing scheme with mortgage guarantees from CBZ Building Society supported by US$1,3 million deposited by ZBC in an investment account.”[7]

Furthermore, the ZBC CEO is implicated in a US$1 million scandal in which he allegedly inflated the purchase price of a radio Outside Broadcasting (OB) van from a Chinese firm. ZBC contracted the China National Instruments Imports and Exports Corporation (Instrimpex) to provide the OB Van worth between US$100 000 and US$200 000 on the real market. However, the purchase price was inflated to US$1,050, 000.[8]

Whilst many people condemned the scandals, the Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe (Joyce Mujuru) appears in the media to be condoning corruption, and she lashed out at the media for exposing corruption in parastatals.[9] The position taken by Mujuru demonstrates the lack of political will in confronting the scourge of corruption. However, the ruling ZANU PF distanced itself from Mujuru’s utterances.[10] Following the utterances made, many stakeholders called for the resignation of Mujuru and these include: ZAPU[11], media and the general populace,[12] and MDC to name but a few.[13]

 

In response to the scandals, Cuthbert Dube and the PSMAS Board chairperson Mrs. Meisie Makeletso Namasasu were fired.[14] Furthermore, the PSMAS Board reduced the salaries of staff and the CEO will earn between US$50,000 and US$60,000 which still remains too high.[15] Mr. George Charamba, one of the PSMAS Board members who allegedly “raked in over $100 000” in 2013 as board fees offered to resign out of shame.[16]  The ZBC boss Happison Muchechetere was suspended whilst the Board of Directors was dissolved.[17]

 

Concerned individuals and institutions raised their voices against the scandals. The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) has called for a probe into the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) as well as other medical aid societies in the country.[18] There is a chorus of calls for a nationwide probe on Zimbabwean parastatals as well as for Happison Muchechetere and Cuthbert Dube to return all the money that they looted and also face the law. Equally guilt are the Boards of the PSMAS and ZBC that must face the law.

 

Enjoy reading a collection of articles made.

 

Featured Articles

 

1.     Outrage over Muchechetere’s ‘filthy’ package

John Nyashanu- Available at https://www.newsday.co.zw/2013/12/11/outrage-muchecheteres-filthy-package/ [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

MEDIA representative groups and former executives of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) yesterday expressed outrage at suspended CEO Happison Muchechetere’s “obscene” salary and perks.

They said it was unbelievable that the head of a company could find it justifiable that he takes such huge remuneration and allowances while the rest of the employees wallowed in poverty –  going for as long as five months without salaries.

They told NewsDay in separate interviews, that Media, Information and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo did right to institute investigations at the corporation and sending Muchechetere on forced leave last month, pending a forensic audit.

Moyo’s deputy Supa Mandiwanzira on Monday revealed that Muchechetere was awarding himself a package in excess of $40 000 which included a $27 000 monthly salary, allowances of up to $6 000, unlimited fuel allocation, payment of his mortgage, construction of a leasure area including a precast wall at his residence, and payment of as much as $2 500 for his domestic workers’ wages.

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Zimbabwe chapter chairperson Njabulo Ncube described Muchechetere’s employment benefits as “scandalous”.

“This gives credence to minister Jonathan Moyo’s firing of the ZBC  board, suspension of the CEO and the ongoing audit.  No manager should allow themselves to take away such frightening benefits while the generality of the workforce is suffering to that extent.

“The board should have been privy to the salary and allowances of its executives and is therefore liable for the excesses and penury at ZBC because good governance demands accountability.  This is a scandal,” said Ncube.

Zimbabwe Union of Journalists secretary-general Foster Dongozi weighed in saying: “If it’s true that those obscene salaries were being paid, it is unfortunate and justifies government’s intervention.

It is a moral disgrace if the reports are true that some people could swim in such filthy and decadent wealth while workers went without.  We applaud the ministry (of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services) for the intervention, something we have been calling for, for close to two years,” he said. Former ZBC CEO Munyaradzi Hwengwere said he hoped corrective measures would be put in place to turn around the fortunes of the corporation.

“Though I don’t have detailed information on what is happening, except what I read in the media, I hope the challenges they are facing will be solved.  It is my sincere hope that everything will be sorted out for the benefit of workers, listeners and viewers,” said Hwengwere, who was at the helm of ZBC at the turn of the millennium.

 

2.     Probe medical aid societies — CCZ

Business Reporter- Available at https://www.newsday.co.zw/2014/02/12/probe-medical-aid-societies-ccz/ [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

THE Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) has called for a probe into Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) and other medical aid societies in the country amid indications that there is rampant abuse of public funds.

In a statement, CCZ executive director Rosemary Siyachitema said the consumer watchdog was in shock and disturbed with the news of the salaries for top management at PSMAS.

She said considering the general economic situation that the country was facing and the continuous problems the ordinary consumer who is a member of PSMAS has had in accessing good service, the salaries were shocking and a slap in the face of PSMAS members.

“As the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe on behalf of the many consumers who are PSMAS members, we want to see a thorough investigation on this issue, including other medical aid societies so that consumers are vindicated in what they have been saying for many years that they are receiving shoddy services from some medical aid societies,” Siyachitema said.

The calls for the probe follow revelations by the media that former PSMAS chief executive officer Cuthert Dube earned $230 000 monthly.

Siyachitema said if the salary amounts were found to be true, it meant that the members had been contributing every month to fill the pockets of top management rather than be given good service when they needed it.

“Considering what the public has heard about salaries in PSMAS, ZBC (Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation) and local authorities, it seems that this is just the tip of the iceberg. On behalf of all struggling consumers, investigations cannot just be made on a piecemeal basis, there is need for a group made of principled people to investigate all these issues,” she said.

She, however, said it was unacceptable for consumers to suffer at the hands of collapsing banks due to greedy service providers and let this be business as usual.

“As CCZ, we are horrified and shocked that consumers’ rights have been trampled on in this way and the little money that the ordinary person is earning is going towards such corrupt officers.  We feel that the consumer is being robbed and this is a criminal act — and rather than retiring people and giving them golden handshakes and giving them extra allowances, these people need to be investigated.”

3.     US$2m housing scandal at ZBC

Editor- Available at http://www.herald.co.zw/us2m-housing-scandal-at-zbc/ [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

SUSPENDED ZBC chief executive officer Happison Muchechetere and three senior managers are embroiled in a multi-million-dollar double-dipping housing scandal which sources described as a looting spree over the past four years. The four unprocedurally set up a housing scheme with mortgage guarantees from CBZ Building Society supported by US$1,3million deposited by ZBC in an investment account.

And though the scheme was approved by then board chairman, Dr Cuthbert Dube on May 5 2010, it was done without the knowledge or approval of the board.

The funds deposited by the ZBC management exceeded the threshold allowed for execution by the corporation’s staff without the approval of the board.

The agreement for the controversial housing scheme was illegally signed by general manager (finance) Mr Elliot Kasu who has no power to authorise such contracts.

In terms of the ZBC Purchasing Policy, the CEO is empowered to authorise financial transactions of up to US$50 000 without Board approval, while from US$50 000 to US$300 000, the purchase would have to go through the State Procurement Board.

Under the scheme, Muchechetere was awarded US$250 000, while Kasu, Allan Chiweshe (general manager radio programming) and Tazzen Mandizvidza (general manager news and current affairs) all got US$200 000 apiece, the scheme totalling US$850 000, to buy houses in the northern suburbs.

The four contracts, under “Housing” provided for the service of the mortgages at CBZ by ZBC at 100 percent for Muchechetere, who did not have an account with the bank and thus used the ZBC account to pay off his mortgage, and 50 percent apiece for Kasu, Chiweshe and Mandizvidza who had accounts with the bank from which deductions towards servicing the mortgage were made.

Despite purchasing plush properties with ZBC funds, the four continued drawing monthly executive housing allowances that stood at US$3 500 for  Muchechechetere and US$2 500 for Kasu, Chiweshe and Mandizvidza, giving a cumulative US$1 808 666 over the past four years.

The allowances were only stopped after the intervention of the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services in November that culminated in the dissolution of the entire ZBC board, suspension of Muchechetere and Kasu, and the payment of workers’ outstanding salaries.

The four are also under fire for their hypocrisy in that throughout the seven-month period when their subordinates went without salaries, at times getting as little as US$40 for bus fare, Muchechetere and his three general managers made a pretense of freezing their salaries while nicodemously raking in thousands of dollars every month in allowances.

Records show Mr Muchechetere got his US$9 300 every month broken down as US$3 500 housing allowance, US$2 400 for security, US$3 000 entertainment allowance, and US$400 for domestic workers while the three general managers were also paid their US$5 300 in allowances broken down as US$2 500 for housing, US$2 400 for security and US$400 for maids without fail.

Bishop Trevor Manhanga, who sat on the board, confirmed that the housing scheme was never brought to the board’s attention as the chairman, Dr Cuthbert Dube, had made it clear that the issue of conditions of service for the CEO was his business.

“That was never brought to the board, and the board turned down a budget for 2013 which included luxury vehicles for the management. The decision regarding conditions of service for the guys was the chairman’s business,’’ he said.

Another board member, who preferred anonymity said the 2013 budget included a new Mercedes Benz S350 and Land Cruiser for the CEO even though his current fleet was basically new.

Efforts to get comment from Mr Muchechetere were unsuccessful as his phones went unanswered.

4.     Muchechetere in fresh cash scandal

Bridget Mananavire  – Available at http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_muchechetere-in-fresh-cash-scandal/ [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

Suspended Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere, who stands accused of plundering the bankrupt broadcaster through obscene salaries and allowances, reportedly paid himself $90 000 in yearly bonuses.

Between 2009 and 2012, according to a salary schedule seen by the Daily News on Sunday, ZBC ran a payroll of over $900 000 a month, with the rest of the workers taking home $600 000 while Muchechetere and his colleagues took the remainder after salary increments.

Documents seen by this paper show that the increments were done without the approval of the board while Muchechetere illegally approved salaries for his managers.

The documents also show that Muchechetere’s huge salary and allowances were approved by fired board chairman Cuthbert Dube.

The salary schedule indicates that Muchechetere was personally taking home $22 500 per quarter in bonuses, although ZBC never made any money to sustain the bonus payments for the CEO.

This was 12,5 percent of his annual basic salary. Muchechetere’s quarterly bonuses came at a time ZBC was wallowing in a $40 million debt and was failing to pay workers.

What has alarmed government is that like in the case of ZBC, top managers at State-controlled public enterprises, in connivance with their different boards awarded themselves huge allowances inflated to make up for their lower salaries.

This meant the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) lost revenue in terms of Pay As You Earn (Paye) and indications are that the revenue authority is now investigating the tax evasion scandal.

Information minister, Jonathan Moyo was forced to dismiss the entire ZBC board and send Muchechetere on forced leave after he failed to draft a turnaround strategy for the corporation.

Muchechetere was reportedly taking home a package of up to $40 000 from a company whose monthly revenues top $275 000 per month, against a budget of $2,3 million of which about $1 million should go to salaries.

In a bid to bring sanity to the State broadcaster’s salary wage bill, government slashed the salaries of employees saying the wage bill was not sustainable.

Salaries for all employees were reverted back to those approved by the ZBC board in 2010, with Moyo arguing the current salaries had been single-handedly approved by embattled former board chairperson Dube without the knowledge of the full board.

Acres of newspaper space have been filled with details of how Muchechetere, and three others in the public broadcaster’s top echelons, received housing loans of about $200 000 each along with various other generous hefty allowances.

Our sister paper, the Daily News, earlier revealed that the suspended ZBC boss was embroiled in a messy $1 million scandal in which he allegedly inflated the purchase price of a radio Outside Broadcasting (OB) van from a Chinese firm.

The State broadcaster entered into an agreement with China National Instruments Imports and Exports Corporation (Instrimpex) for the purchase of the OB Van worth $100 000 and $200 000 on the real market.

The figure was, however, allegedly inflated to $1 050 000 by Muchechetere in alleged connivance with Instrimpex officials.

As the scandals rock State-controlled enterprises, the following has emerged; several State enterprises have no boards in place, some boards are not meeting at all and other boards lack the necessary skills.

Boards are often deliberately raising salaries of CEOs because the level of their allowances is linked to the CEOs salaries

There is no systematic board members’ selection and training, as a result of which most board members are not sufficiently equipped to effectively carry out their duties.
There have been calls for a commission of inquiry to look into the scandals at the loss making State enterprises.

Most of the scandals are said to occur in the procurement departments where invoices are inflated to astronomical levels.

“There is clear connivance between heads of parastatals, boards and the private to steal money through inflating invoices.

“A case in point is the ZBC issue where an OB van for $100 000 was invoiced for $1 million. This is rampant in most parastatals,” said the source

 

5.     ZBC boss in $1m scandal

Mugove Tafirenyika – Available at http://www.dailynews.co.zw/articles/2014/01/28/zbc-boss-in-1m-scandal [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

HARARE – Suspended Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) chief executive officer Happison Muchechetere is embroiled in a messy $1 million scandal in which he allegedly inflated the purchase price of a radio Outside Broadcasting (OB) van from a Chinese firm.

Documents in possession of the Daily News show that sometime last year, the State broadcaster entered into an agreement with China National Instruments Imports and Exports Corporation (Instrimpex) for the purchase of the OB Van worth $100 000 and $200 000 on the real market.

The figure was, however, allegedly inflated to $1 050 000 by Muchechetere in alleged connivance with Instrimpex officials.

It is not clear if the cash-strapped ZBC forked out the whole cash for the van but information at hand shows the ZBC, through a deal with a local bank, paid $100 000 and the van was delivered.

Officials at ZBC now fear that either the balance was paid to the Chinese company and the difference of $900 000 was shared between Muchechetere and Instrimpex officials or the broadcaster now owes Instrimpex the huge amount for a van that costs far less. 

The Daily News can reveal the ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services has since written to the new ZBC management to ask the Chinese company to prepare a proper invoice to verify how a van worth between $100 000 and $200 000 could be charged over $1 million.

All this was done without the knowledge of the board and without going to tender.

Muchechetere is believed to have nicodemously sneaked out to China where the deal to inflate figures was sealed and a fake $1 050 000 invoice was generated on June 28, 2013 and presented to the State broadcaster as the cost of the van.

This is notwithstanding the fact that as CEO, Muchechetere was only authorised to approve purchases not exceeding $50 000, while the ZBC board approved purchases of up to $300 000, with any purchase above that requiring the approval of the State Procurement Board.

Muchechetere had indicated in a June 1, 2013 executive meeting that $450 000 was enough to purchase the OB van, a new cargo van and a new crew bus but he single-handedly travelled to China secure a deal to buy the OB van only for more than $1 million.

Minutes of the meeting, attended by Muchechetere, Tazzen Mandizvidza, the general manager News and Current Affairs; Allan Gweshe, the general manager Programming and Elliot Kasu, general manager Finance and Administration; show that the amount from BancABC was supposed to be enough for the purchase and shipment of the equipment into the country.

“The GCEO (group CEO) proposed to the meeting that since a Television Outside Broadcasting Van had already been acquired from China, the BancABC-ZBC contract meant to purchase a Television OB van should now be reviewed and instead be used to secure a new Radio OB Van, a new Cargo Van and a new Crew Bus,” the minutes read.

“He said the funding is adequate to meet the purchase of the three items.”

According to documents, ZBC had entered into an agreement with BancABC in December 2011 wherein the bank agreed to refurbish ZBC’s OB van to the tune of $495 595 in exchange for advertising airtime.

The State broadcaster, however, later decided the money from the BancABC agreement be channelled towards the purchase of the OB radio, crew bus and cargo van since they had already acquired an OB van for television.

Muchechetere went on to request that BancABC release the amount in a July 2, 2013 correspondence to the bank, which the financial institution duly did on October 28, 2013.

“According to the auxiliary agreement signed in China on 21 June 2013, a deposit of $100 000 is required to allow its shipping to Zimbabwe,” Muchechetere said.

“We kindly request that you release the $100 000 required for the deposit and the subsequent instalments of deposit in terms of the agreement.”

Efforts to obtain comment from Muchechetere were fruitless yesterday as his mobile was unreachable.

The ZBC CEO, who is currently on forced leave over obscene salaries paid to the broadcasters’ management and general mismanagement, was pampering himself with a hefty package amounting to over $40 000 a month, including a monthly salary of $27 000, as workers wallowed in poverty.

In December last year, government revealed the ZBC boss enjoyed outrageous perks which included home entertainment of $3 000, housing allowance of $3 000, $2 500 for his security, unlimited fuel allowance and wages for his maid, among other benefits.

 

6.     Salaries cut at ZBC as drama over looting scandal continues

Tererai Karimakwenda – Available at http://www.swradioafrica.com/2014/01/30/salaries-cut-at-zbc-as-drama-over-looting-scandal-continues/ [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

The staff at Zimbabwe’s public broadcaster ZBC, many of whom have not been paid for several months, were dealt another blow Wednesday when the information and broadcasting Minister announced their salaries will be cut back to the levels they earned in 2010, with immediate effect.

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, who took over the portfolio in Mugabe’s new cabinet after the disputed elections last July, addressed journalists in Harare where he revealed more details of how senior managers criminally abused funds and other assets at ZBC over the last four years.

Moyo said salaries had been negotiated and approved by the former board chairman, Cuthbert Dube, “without the knowledge of the ZBC board” and they were therefore “illegal”.

The controversial Minister sacked Dube and the entire board last week, accusing them of abusing funds. The former chief executive, Happison Muchechetere, was reportedly earning $40,000 a month at the time he was fired, while ordinary staff have gone without wages for the last 7 months.

It was also revealed Wednesday that ZBC’s top four executives received home loans of about $200,000, paid by the public broadcaster, and also received various other housing allowances. These were also approved by Cuthbert Dube.

Moyo told reporters that about 85 permanent employees at ZBC were also only receiving wages as part-time workers. In addition 99 students were earning salaries while claiming to be interns. The Minister explained that as a result, the state broadcaster was insolvent and could not sustain the current wage bill.

He further warned that those found guilty “shall with immediate effect be dealt with in terms of the law in order to hold them to account and recover from them any proven loss of ZBC funds of assets”.

But Moyo’s sincerity and motivation are being questioned by observers and activists in Zimbabwe, who say they want to see how far the ZANU PF minister will go to prosecute officials from his own party.

Journalist Francis Rwodzi, who has been speaking to ordinary Zimbabweans and human rights activists in Harare, Gweru and Kwekwe, told SW Radio Africa that many believe Moyo’s actions are part of a broader ZANU PF plan to divert attention from the real bread and butter issues.

“Civil society players say we need to be careful about this so-called blitz on corruption and trusting Moyo. ZANU PF is failing to deliver on their election manifesto and don’t want the people to focus on that,” Rwodzi explained.

Meanwhile Muchechetere has also been linked to $1 million scandal in which he is accused of inflating the purchase price of a radio outside broadcasting (OB) van from a Chinese company.

According to the Daily News newspaper, the State broadcaster entered into an agreement with the China National Instruments Imports and Exports Corporation sometime last year, for the purchase of an OB Van worth between $100,000 and $200,000 on the real market.

But Muchechetere is alleged to have connived with officials at the Chinese company and inflated the price to $1,050,000.

Some Zimbabweans, commenting on developments at the ZBC online, said they want to see real action taken to hold those responsible to account.

One reader said: “Hapana nyaya apa (There is nothing to talk about here), we all know this government has a lot to account for in the past 20 years. If they are serious they should set up a commission of inquiry to look into all government expenditure for the past 20 years. Panofiwa”.

Another questioned Moyo’s sincerity and motivation, saying: “Ane vanhu vake vaanoda kuisa mumaposition iwaya. zvingwarirei izvozvo”, meaning “He has his own people that he wants in those positions. Be aware of him”.

And yet another had a suggestion: “Cut the salaries for the executives, not the rest of the employees wanzwa. Please bear in mind these people are already earning peanuts.”

Journalist Rwodzi agreed, saying: “People are really concerned about the amounts of money that chefs are taking home at government institutions while the other workers are failing to get anything for months. They are concerned about the state of the country when these chefs are not being held accountable.”

Minister Moyo told journalists that the process of selecting an independent auditor to look into ZBC will start next month and a new board would be appointed soon, after the forensic and audit are completed.

7.     Mugabe spokesman offers to resign over salary scandal

Available at http://nehandaradio.com/2014/02/10/mugabe-spokesman-offers-to-resign-over-salary-scandal/ [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

President Robert Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba, embarrassed by the “SalaryGate Scandal” has offered to resign and says cabinet ministers who allowed state owned companies to award obscene salaries to their top executives, should do the honourable thing and also resign. 

Charamba raked in over $100 000 last year from the scandal-ridden Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) despite claiming he was the least paid person on the board.

Charamba who doubles up as presidential spokesman and Permanent Secretary in the Information Ministry was a key board member, including serving on the finance and budget committee that approved PSMAS CEO Cuthbert Dube’s obscene US$500 000 in monthly salaries, benefits and allowances.

It was also under his watch as Permanent Secretary in the Information Ministry that the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) paid the now suspended CEO Happison Muchechetere a whooping $40 000 a month even though workers at the debt-ridden broadcaster went for months without being paid.

ZBC is currently saddled with a $44,3 million debt amid revelations at least 500 workers will have to be retrenched in a restructuring exercise meant to turnaround the public broadcaster.

In an interview with the state aligned Star FM on Thursday evening, Charamba conceded that he and his colleagues had slept on the wheel and should do the honourable thing and resign.

“That’s dereliction of duty on the part of ministries. We slept on the job. That’s the bottom line. Whether we snoozed because we were sleepy or snoozed because we were ignorant, it makes no difference,” Charamba said.

“Zimbabweans are angry and have every reason to be angry. Take, for example, ZBC (Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation). That money which was supposed to have them entertained was being taken to sponsor large lives,” he said.

“Those involved, including myself; should be made to pay. I should relinquish my position. If I am not moved by my conscience, I should be moved by a higher authority,” Charamba told a local radio last week.

According to Information Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo, Mugabe used Tuesday’s cabinet meeting to express his disgust at the scandal and ordered Cabinet ministers to take full responsibility of parastatals and State enterprises that fall under their portfolios and ensure that the culprits are brought to book.

Moyo said the president was “dismayed by the undeniable rot which is allegedly rampant among the 78 parastatals and State enterprises and the 92 local authorities in the country, and whose extent includes corruption of the tender and procurement processes as well as price distortions to the detriment of ordinary consumers.”

Moyo said some parastatals and local authorities are yet to comply with a cabinet directive (issued November 2013) to submit salary schedules to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).

“Since then, the OPC has received schedules of salaries and allowances along with feedback from some but not all of the affected organisations. Among other things, the preliminary outcome of these submissions is as follows: Several organisations in question actually do not have boards in place,” Moyo said.

“Some of the boards in place are not meeting as required by the law. Most of the boards do not have the skills necessary to discharge their mandate and this has created opportunities for one or a few individuals to control the boards.

“Boards tend to deliberately raise salaries of their management knowing that the level of board allowances is tied to the salaries of management. Many board members are not sufficiently equipped for their duties because they do not have systematic criteria for board selection or training.

Most boards do not have remuneration committees to help determine the salaries and allowances of their organisations. Virtually all boards in question are not evaluated in terms of their performance. In most cases there is no ministerial supervision of boards,” Moyo said.

8.     Supa Mandiwanzira Accused of Bias in ZBC Scandal Probe

By John Chimunhu- Available at http://zimnowmedia.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/supa-mandiwanzira-accused-of-bias-in-zbc-scandal-probe/ [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

Anti-corruption activists have demanded the immediate removal of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services deputy minister Supa Mandiwanzira from the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation corruption investigation amid allegations he is biased.

The calls came after it emerged that Mandiwanzira, who took charge of the investigation this week, had a deep personal rivalry with Brigadier-General Elliot Kasu, the suspended ZBC finance director at the centre of the alleged scandal.

Now Daily has been told by government officials that Mandiwanzira’s production, broadcast and public relations companies, ABC Communications and Mighty Movies could be asked to testify over their dealings with the bankrupt state broadcaster.

Additionally, according to a statement released Thursday by anti-corruption lobby group Consumer Action, Mandiwanzira could not be expected to be impartial in the probe as he had the interests of his private ZiFM and ZiTV Online to protect. Zi FM competes directly with the ZBC and has reportedly lured advertisers and staff from the public broadcaster.

“Mandiwanzira’s appointment was a violation of the constitution because he is a licence holder in the same business that he is supposed to regulate and control,” Consumer Action said.

Mandiwanzira clashed with Kasu in June when the two squared off during the Zanu PF primary elections in Nyanga South, which the former won. Their rivalry has deepened through the Zanu PF Manicaland executive, where both are members belonging to rival factions, sources said.

“After leaving ZBC, Mandiwanzira continued to produce programmes that were shown on ZBC-TV. The nature of his contract must be investigated, along with those of scores of independent producers who were paid astronomical fees by ZBC. It is well known that many such producers abused the corporation’s resources without paying and now own the rights to the productions,” Consumer Action said.

Panic has gripped the ZBC after the investigation got underway last week. Information minister Jonathan Moyo suspended the entire Cuthbert Dube-led board and sent CEO Happison Muchechetere and Kasu on forced paid leave. The ministry claimed it had contracted the Comptroller and Auditor-General to investigate the alleged financial rot at the corporation’s Pockets Hill headquarters. A ministry official said the probe would establish the ZBC’s true financial position and examine all financial transactions to determine the source of its multi-million dollar losses.

The investigation is also expected to uncover over-staffing and payment irregularities after it was revealed that 46 managers’ salaries were gobbling up $1 million of the corporation’s $1.6 million monthly salary budget. Mandiwanzira revealed on Wednesday that ZBC’s monthly revenue was $275 000 compared to its $2.3 million budget.

Ordinary workers have not been paid since May while managers enjoy inflated salaries, allowances, housing and car loans, according to union representatives.

Moyo is accused of using the purported clean-up of ZBC to settle scores in the race in Zanu PF to succeed the ailing party leader Robert Mugabe.

Muchechetere took over the reins at ZBC in 2008 after Zanu PF ordered the sacking of former CEO Henry Muradzikwa, who was paid to go after being accused of failing to use the airwaves to campaign for Mugabe, resulting in election defeat. Muchechetere adopted a hard line. He reportedly refused to take orders from then minister Webster Shamu, whom he considered his junior in their wartime ranks. Muchechetere rejected cabinet-ordered reforms and barred all Mugabe opponents from the state media, playing a key role in the public media’s role in Zanu PF rigging of the July 31 election.

Under Muchechetere, a war veteran, a festering sex scandal worsened. Programme presenters and DJs reported to the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists that they were often forced to have sex with bosses before going on air. The egregious Muchechetere accused the victims of being ‘prostitutes’ and stopped an investigation launched by human resources director Benaniah Shumba. Many of the women were forced to abandon complaints levelled against editor Tazzen Mandizvidza and former news manager O’brian Rwafa.

Consumer Action called for a parliamentary investigation into the ZBC scandal.

“Jonathan Moyo is responsible for some of the problems at ZBC and there is no way he can be impartial. He forced ZBC to host expensive Zanu PF galas and rallies that were broadcast live. He also came up with the unpopular ’75 percent local content’ policy, which forced viewers and advertisers to switch to digital channels, costing ZBC revenue. Moyo also pushed up characters like Munyaradzi Hwengwere, who left amid damaging scandals involving theft of equipment,” Consumer Action said, urging people not to pay licence fees until the scandal was resolved.

Zanu PF is reported to be positioning its deputy information director, Psychology Maziwisa to take over from Muchechetere.

9.     PSMAS fires Cuthbert Dube

Paidamoyo Chipunza Health Reporter- Available at http://www.herald.co.zw/psmas-fires-cuthbert-dube/ [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

Premier Service Medical Aid Society group chief executive Dr Cuthbert Dube and the society’s board chairperson Mrs Meisie Makeletso Namasasu have been booted out. The society has been in the news in recent days amid revelations the top management was gobbling at least US$1 million in basic monthly salaries at a time PSMAS was reeling from a US$38 million debt.

As at December 31, the society owed service providers US$38 million in unpaid bills for medical services rendered to its members.

In a statement released yesterday evening, PSMAS board secretary Mr Cosmos Mukwesha said the vice chairperson Mr Newton Mhlanga was appointed acting chairperson.

“At its sitting of the 27th day of January 2014, the Premier Service Medical Aid Society board of directors resolved to relieve the current board chairperson, Mrs M M Namasasu, of her duties as chairperson, forthwith. In line with the society’s constitution, the board appointed the vice chairperson, Mr N Mhlanga as acting chairperson until the appointment of a substantive chairperson.

“Further, the board resolved that in view of the fact that the group chief executive, Dr C.E Dube has reached retirement age, he be retired. Details on the retirement are being worked out,” reads part of the statement.

Sources close to the happenings at PSMAS House claim that the board was forced to take action after its members held an intense meeting with the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa yesterday.

It is believed that it was only after this meeting that the PSMAS board met and reversed its earlier decision to slash salaries of PSMAS executives.

In its last meeting held at PSMAS House last week, the board had resolved to slash Dr Dube’s salary from US$230 000 per month to about US$60 000- a figure that was still way above any other CEO of a Government parastatal.

Dr Dube has been at the helm of PSMAS since 1992 while Mrs Namasasu, a director for Implementation and Control of Expenditure Unit with the ministry of Finance had been on the board for the past 18 years.

Previously, Dr Dube was the general manager of the then Public Service Medical Aid Society. This latest development follows revelations of extravagant basic salaries of PSMAS 14 top executives amounting to about US$1 million a month- almost half of the organisation’s monthly wage bill.

As at December 2012, Dr Dube, who sits on 20 boards, was earning a monthly salary of US$230 000 a month while the group’s finance manager, Mr Enock Gwinyai (no longer with the PSMAS) earned a basic salary of US$200 000.

The group’s operations executive Mr Enock Chitekedza was earning US$122 000 while eight other senior directors were earning a basic salary of US$60 000 every month.

Three others, including Dr Dube’s personal assistant and a secretary were earning US$30 000, US$22 000 and US$15 000 00 each.

This brought the monthly wage bill of the top 14 to nearly US$1,1 million while about 300 others earned a combined US$900 000.

Meanwhile, people interviewed said the new board chairperson should ensure that the new CEO does not earn anything more than US$20 000 basic salary.

Mr Shadreck Maziwisa of Harare said considering the fact that this money is not a profit in whatsoever context,PSMAS CEO should thus be paid between U$10 000 and US$15 000.

“They have not worked for this money, if anything they are stealing from patients. This is money entrusted to them by members as medical savings,” said Mr Maziwisa.

“The idea of medical aid is such that members pool resources to meet medical bills of the few patients who get sick on a monthly basis and medical aid societies are the administrators of such funds. Of course administrators have a salary but it should not be anything out of this world and they should also be fulfilling their obligations,” he said.

As at December 31, PSMAS owed service providers nearly US$38 million but argued that it was also owed US$44 million in unremitted contributions.

10.  PSMAS board slashes Cuthbert Dube’s salary

Harare Bureau- Available at http://www.chronicle.co.zw/psmas-board-slashes-cuthbert-dubes-salary/ [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

THE Premier Service Medical Aid Society board has slashed the salaries of chief executive officer Cuthbert Dube and senior management at the firm. Since September 2012, Dube had been taking home $230,000 monthly as his basic pay, while remuneration for 13 other executives ranged from $15,000 for the CEO’s personal assistant, to $200,000.

Board members would last night not say how much Dube would take home effective January 2014, but sources indicated it would be within the range of that of the highest-paid CEO in Zimbabwe’s private sector, a figure believed to be between $50,000 and $60,000.

This would mean he now gets roughly a quarter of what he earned between September and December 2013, but is still the highest paid job in a government-linked enterprise.

Another source said this salary would also be slashed when government completes its re-alignment of packages of bosses at parastatals and State-owned enterprises.

In a statement soon after last night’s board meeting, deputy chair Newton Mhlanga said they had taken the decision in December 2013.

The board met yesterday to review operations at PSMAS and respond to articles by the media this week on the firm’s debts and its salary structure.

“The board caused an immediate review of the remuneration of top management in line with market trends. The board commissioned an independent salary survey to guide its deliberations and communicated its position to government through the Ministry of Finance.

“The process was concluded on December 24, 2013 and the resolution on the new reduced salaries and benefits took effect on January 1, 2014,” the statement read.

Mhlanga declined to take questions and would not say what the new salary structure of PSMAS’ top 14 is. Previously, the top 14 gobbled nearly $1,1 million of the total wage bill of $2 million.

He said they took note of a weakness in the society’s remuneration practice, founded on a long-established culture from PSMAS’ inception in the colonial days, where the CEO’s package was solely determined by the board chair.

“The board, through its benefits committee is finalising the review and realignment of board fees and related benefits in line with market trends.

“The board made a decision to review its operating procedures and align these to best practice in corporate governance,” read the statement.

Mhlanga said the board also decided that specialists like medical doctors working for PSMAS should be competitively rewarded ahead of general administrative staff.

“The board has already commissioned a restructuring exercise of the entire organisation which process should complete (sic) by end of January 31.”

PSMAS has a membership of 794,000 people, mostly civil servants and the uniformed services. As at December 31, 2013, the society owed service providers $38 million in unpaid bills.

Dube earned $144, 097,52 in June 2012, and it rose to $230, 000 by September 2013. This means his basic salary went up nearly $100, 000 in three months.

The PSMAS annual wage bill rose from $15,547,171 in 2011 to $33,413,373 in 2012, almost half of which was paid to the top 14 managers.

After Dube, the next two top earners were the group finance manager, an E Gwinyai (no longer with PSMAS), who earned a basic salary of $200,000 a month, and group operations executive Enock  Chitekedza ($122,000).

Eight other senior directors were earning a basic salary of $60,000 every month. Two middle managers were paid $30,000 and $22,000 each, while Dube’s PA, Florence Tsiga, took home $15,000 monthly.

While the top 14 earned nearly $1,1 million monthly, while everyone else at PSMAS earned a combined $900,000. Further, all group executives recently received a $300,000 payment, approved by Dube, for as yet unclear reasons.

Minutes of a meeting on July 4, 2012 show that  Dube approved lump sum payments of $300, 000 for each group executive. Documents in our possession also show that PSMAS bought a house in Glen Lorne, Harare, for about $534,000 for Dube.

It is not clear if the purchase was a loan advanced to Dube or was part of his package as group CEO. Meanwhile, government has ordered PSMAS to furnish it with details of its salary structure amid calls by legislators for the suspension of the management.

Health and Child Care Minister David Parirenyatwa said they were urgently dealing with the “shocking” salaries being paid to managers at PSMAS.

Parirenyatwa was responding to Senators questions in the Upper House yesterday. Manicaland Senator Patrick Chitaka (MDC-T) had asked if reports that Dube was earning $230,000 were true and such salaries were sustainable.

“We have already invited them to give us information to discuss this issue. We are not only looking at salaries but we are looking at what you are contributing as an individual and what they are paying to hospitals and service providers. So we are deeply investigating to make sure that as a population, we are not compromised,” said Parirenyatwa.

“We will look at the law and statutes and see whether they satisfy the various requirements that are stipulated in the law. We do not want to say “yes” in terms of salaries that we have not yet confirmed.”

PSMAS, said Parirenyatwa, was jointly managed by his ministry, and the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and Finance ministries.

Mashonaland West Senator Prisca Mupfumira (Zanu-PF) wanted to know if government would suspend the Dube-led executive pending investigations, saying chances were that evidence might be suppressed should investigations be done while they were in office.

“We know that the law of the country stipulates that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Why don’t you do as what happened at ZBC where the CEO was suspended to facilitate investigations  because honestly how can you carry out investigations when one is in office?” she said. “We are urgently looking at what you have said,” responded Parirenyatwa.

Chiefs Council president Fortune Charumbira asked if government was dealing with the “obscene” salary structures in parastatals and State-owned entities.

“It is like they are in a different economy (from) others,” he said.
Parirenyatwa responded: “I share with you your sentiments. If we compare the salaries it means you can all be paid by one person here.”

11.  Minister Moyo Fires ZBC Boss, Board for Incompetence

Ntungamili Nkomo- Available at http://www.voazimbabwe.com/content/zimbabwe-jonathan-moyo-fires-zbc-boss-board/1790374.html [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

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WASHINGTON DC — Information Minister Jonathan Moyo on Thursday moved in to reverse the decay at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) by dissolving the state broadcaster’s board and placing its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Happison Muchechetere on forced leave.
 
ZBC General Manager for Radio Services, Allan Chiweshe, was immediately installed as Acting CEO.
 
Minister Moyo, whose frustrations with the broadcaster’s management for incompetence is a matter of public record, said he was forced to wield the hatchet in the “national interest” after the board failed to produce a turnaround strategy for the institution.
 
“In the circumstances, and upon appropriate consultations, the ZBC Board is hereby dissolved with immediate effect,” Moyo said in a statement.
 
“In the same vein and with immediate effect, the ZBC Chief Executive Officer Happison Muchechetere is hereby sent on leave with full pay until further notice. “This decision has been taken in order to enable a full due diligence and organizational audit of ZBC,” the Minister added.
 
The removal of Muchechetere and his board, Moyo said, would “facilitate the crafting and implementation of the long-delayed turnaround strategy which the national broadcaster deserves and must now have in the national interest.”
 
Minister Moyo’s move is sure to inspire hope among hundreds of miserable ZBC staffers who have had to endure months of nonpayment while their bosses were said to be rewarding themselves with hefty incomes – despite the fact that the public broadcaster was virtually broke.
 
An unnamed state broadcaster employee broke down the salary discrepancies to The Zimbabwe Independent recently as follows: “The least paid manager nets around US$7,000, while general managers get about US$18,000, heads of department around US$14,000 and the highest paid manager more than $20,000. The rest of the employees (reporters and supporting staff) get below US$1,000.”
 
The dissolved board comprised of Chairperson Cuthbert Dube, his deputy Doreen Sibanda and members Gibson Mashingaidze, Bob Nyabinde, Farai Mutamangira, Job Jonhera, Benjamin Mabenge, Felix Muchemwa, Trevor Manhanga, Clemence Mabaso and one, M. Manuhwa.
 
Moyo noted that ZBC had for sometime faced “critical leadership and managerial challenges that have not only compromised the national broadcaster’s capacity to effectively and meaningfully discharge its broadcasting mandate but which have also negatively affected the welfare interests of ZBC employees.”

 

12.   Zanu-PF distances itself from Mujuru’s utterances

Available at http://harare24.com/index-id-news-zk-18677.html[ Accessed on 13 February 2014]

 

THE ruling Zanu-PF yesterday came out in support of the media for exposing the rot in State owned companies, leaving Vice-President Joice Mujuru a lone voice in her attempts to muzzle journalists.

Mujuru invited the ire of Zimbabweans on Monday after she was quoted by The Herald newspaper saying exposing corruption in parastatals and related companies by the media could be the work of detractors bent on destroying the government and stalling its programmes.

She accused unnamed whistleblowers of trying to destroy Zanu-PF from within by exposing the deep seated corruption.

But Zanu-PF national spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, in a rare statement availed to all media houses and even posted on social media networks appeared to be distancing the party from Mujuru’s utterances.

Gumbo said Zanu-PF had a zero tolerance on corruption and the stance “has most assiduously” been pronounced at party level by President Robert Mugabe, Mujuru and national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo.

He also paid tribute to the State and private media for exposing corruption at State enterprises.

“This explains why for us corruption was an election issue and why, like the other issues that really matter to us, it was at the very heart of our election manifesto,” Gumbo said.

He said the Zanu-PF conference in Chinhoyi last year had come up with a raft of resolutions, chief among them the need to adopt a zero tolerance approach to corruption.

“That resolution has since found expression in ZimAsset (Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation) and, along with every other issue in that blueprint, is currently being spearheaded by the office of the President and Cabinet. We believe that this is as it should be,” Gumbo said.

He commended the Office of the President for its role in the revelation of corrupt activities, specifically in respect of the obscene salaries awarded to executives of public parastatals and local authorities.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this unacceptable and selfish state of affairs and wish to urge the Office of the President to continue to act in the national interest,” the Zanu-PF spokesman said.

“We would also like to thank the media, both public and private, for their concerted efforts in bringing this shameful situation to public light.”

Gumbo said Zanu-PF would take decisive measures to eradicate corruption in all its forms. “Those involved in corrupt activities must and will face the full wrath of the law and we are determined to make this a reality,” he said.

Gumbo urged all government ministries to act in the spirit of ZimAsset and in the national interest by carrying out extensive audits in their respective ministries “as we believe it will lead to public accountability and instil confidence in the use of public funds”.

He said Zanu-PF believed that complex and intricate issues like corruption cannot be resolved in “a piecemeal, haphazard and simplistic manner”.

“The party needs a comprehensive plan and policy to deal with this menace,” he said.

“Everything must be done above board in an orderly, organised and systematic way to prevent possible accusation of a cover-up.”

Curiously, the statement did no make any reference to Mujuru’s utterances.

Meanwhile, Mujuru last night said she was wrongly quoted by the media and was not against the anti-corruption blitz.

Mujuru’s denial was reported on ZTV’s main news and is set to bring a new twist in the State media-led blitz against corruption.

She warned journalists against being used in internal fights and advised them to be professional.

– Southern Eye

13.   Zimbabwe pay scandal: Call for VP Mujuru to resign

Available at http://www.namibian.com.na/indexx.php?id=9202&page_type=story_detail. [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

 

CAPE TOWN – Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has reportedly called for the resignation of the country’s vice president Joice Mujuru for “condoning corruption in government and state-owned enterprises”.

 

The Zimbabwean media has in recent weeks been awash with reports exposing obscene salaries in public institutions.

The most shocking revelations have related to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), which President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba is effectively responsible for as permanent secretary of the information ministry.

An even bigger scandal has emerged at the government-run health insurer for civil servants PSMAS, where the chief executive earned US$230 000 per month while service providers were not paid and members had to pay cash upfront for health care.

But, according to The Herald, while addressing a women’s conference over the weekend, Mujuru castigated the exposure of the corrupt activities in parastatals and related companies in the media, saying this might be the work of detractors bent on destroying the government and stalling its programmes.
The MDC, however, reacted with disgust and outrage over Mujuru’s utterances, saying she should be investigated by the anti-corruption commission and the police, said a newzimbabwe.com report.
In a statement, MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora called for action from all Zimbabweans and urged them to stage a massive demonstration against the corrupt activities.

Mwonzora said the utterances by Mujuru were meant to threaten and prevent the press from reporting on corruption by Zanu-PF officials.

Mwonzora also demanded to know what was going on in the diamond industry “because that is exactly where a lot of corruption was done by Zanu-PF and state officials”.

Information minister Jonathan Moyo revealed during the weekend that President Robert Mugabe was “dismayed” by the pay scandal and instructed that ministers act to stop the rot.

Analysts have, however, treated investigations by the government into the operations of state enterprises with suspicion, saying the ongoing purges were likely part of a grand scheme of political cleansing as the same executives were appointed by parastatal boards appointed by government ministers.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports have it that Charamba has reportedly offered to resign following reports of massive corruption in the country’s public sector.

According to newzimbabwe.com, Charamba – who has reportedly been fingered in some of these scandalous revelations – also called on cabinet ministers who presided over the affected public entities to be honourable and do the same.

The media in recent weeks has been awash with stories exposing obscene salaries in public institutions.
 – Nampa-AFP

 

14.   Outrage over Mujuru’s open mouth shut mind

Available at http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_outrage-over-open-mouth-shut-mind-vp/ [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

MEDIA activists and ordinary Zimbabweans have expressed outrage over Acting President Joyce Mujuru’s weekend remarks attacking newspaper revelations about the extensive pay scandal dogging the country’s loss making state enterprises.

Now referred to as “Salarygate”, the salary scandal was ignited by the dismissal of Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation (ZBC) CEO Happison Muchechetere and has since gathered a head of steam with allegations that most of the country’s 78 State enterprises as well as the 92 local authorities were affected.

Outed after Muchechetere was the Cuthbert Dube-led executive at the Public Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) which allegedly shared $1 million among eight individuals every month when the quasi-government organisation was struggling to honour its financial obligations.

But while the nation waited with bated breath to see how the country’s rulers respond to the alarming haemorrhage on State coffers, Vice President Mujuru chose to turn her ammunition on the media, insisting they were being used by Zanu PF “saboteurs” to ruin the party and its government.

Her comments elicited strong resentment from media players who accused the country’s most powerful woman politician of attempting to gag the press.

Tawanda Majoni, a board member of the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) said Mujuru’s comments were unacceptable.

“It would always be unacceptable for anybody, whether in high or low office, to try to gag the media from reporting on any issue especially on corruption, corruption of which we know has become such a widespread malignance in Zimbabwe,” said Majoni.

“The role of the media is to do an oversight over government, executive, judiciary as well as society and inform the same society.”

Media Institute of Southern Africa – Zimbabwe chair Njabulo Ncube said Mujuru was being irresponsible.

“It’s is a travesty of justice on the part of VP Mujuru to call for a halt in reporting about the looting of state resources at government entities,” he said.

“Our role as the media is to expose corruption. So we will be failing the nation if we take Mujuru’s advice. We need to continue exposing the rot in government, but by trying to force the media to turn a blind eye on corruption, she is being irresponsible.”

Zimbabwe National Editors’ Forum secretary general and veteran journalistBarnabas Thondhlana said Mujuru’s comments were informed by factional wars within Zanu PF, insisting the media must not be dragged into her party’s internal squabbles.

“The media’s role is to be the watchdog of society. The media reports without fear or favour and brings to the public sphere things which might be hidden,” he said.

“It is not for the media to bother about factions in political parties, for that is not our mandate. We report news as it happens for the public good. We make public that which government quasi-government bodies and the private sector wish to keep hidden.

“Where public funds are concerned, it is the duty of the media to enquire how those funds are being utilised. The public expects to be informed about how their hard-earned dollars are being spent.”

Journalist Itai Dzamari said it was very unfortunate a whole country has been dragged into an argument on Mujuru’s comments and lost sight of the bigger picture where citizens must be demanding the prosecution of the looters.

“The most important question becomes, ‘will this develop to a point where corrective action would be taken?’. That is the major concern to the nation. We have had plenty such stories that have gone away as entertainment but with no action being taken.”

Former Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) president Pride Mkono also condemned Mujuru.

“It goes on to prove how shameless and morally bankrupt our leaders have become,” he said.

“Surely, how can anyone in their normal senses castigate the public exposure of the rot in our public enterprises unless that person is complicit and has interests? The Vice President must think again.”

 

15.   Zapu blasts Mujuru over media slur

Nelson Sibanda- Available at http://harare24.com/index-id-news-zk-18677.html [ Accessed on 13 February 2014]

The Dumiso Dabengwa led Zimbabwe African People’s Union has expressed disappointment at statements made by Acting President, Joyce Mujuru, when she blamed the media for exposing salary scandals at parastatals.

Mujuru told the Zanu (PF) Mashonaland West Provincial Women’s Congress in Chinhoyi last Saturday: “The salary exposures should not be discussed in the media and are works of inside enemies bent on destroying the Zanu (PF) government and stall its programs.”

Zapu says Mujuru is an agent of deception for trying to gag the media. “Mujuru’s speech is irresponsible and in bad taste more so as it comes from someone who is supposed to uphold values of the constitution.

“The duty of the press is to report events in a fair and credible manner like what is happening in the salaries saga,” Zapu spokesperson, Mjobisa Noko, said in a statement.

Various heads and board members at State linked enterprises have in recent weeks reportedly been receiving lofty salaries against poor organizational performance, with some of them already on suspension or fired.

Noko said that the Zanu (PF) government had presided over the rot for the last 34 years and now “the chickens were coming home to roost”. He said that Zanu (PF) could not just wish away issues that were of paramount importance to the citizenry, referring to the scandalous salaries and allowances parastatal heads have been getting.

According to Noko, Mujuru and her cronies have been siphoning state coffers for many years and it was time they got exposed. Zapu warned Zanu (PF) to stay clear of the media “since it has the right to inform the people about events taking place around the country, whether good or bad’, saying Zimbabweans had the right to access public information.

“The nation needs answers on issues to do with diamond mining, corruption in the security sector, (parastatal salary scams), the land issue (and) farm implements among others,” said Noko.

Since the economy was saddled with massive company closures, the media had the role to inform the public “such a sad state of affairs”. Given the prevailing economic situation, Zapu said it would encourage investigative journalism to expose corruption and other forms of irregularities

16.   MUJURU RAGES OVER OBSCENE SALARIES REPORTS

Available at  http://www.newsdzezimbabwe.co.uk/2014/02/mujuru-rages-over-obscene-salaries.html. [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

ACTING President Joice Mujuru has castigated the exposure of corrupt activities in parastatals and related companies in the media, saying this might be the work of detractors bent on destroying Government and stall its programmes. 

 Over the past four weeks the media converged to expose graft in parastatals, state enterprises and quasi-Government institutions that has left the generality of people calling for a commission of enquiry into the operations of public enterprises that should be at the forefront of operationalising the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset), the country’s five-year development programme.
Mujuru, who was addressing the Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial women’s conference in Chinhoyi on Saturday, said the graft cases should not be discussed in the media.
“Nditeererei madzimai, chandiri kukuudzai ndochinhu chekupedzisira,” she said.  “Iyi nyaya yatiri kutaura iyi yehuori hwemaparastatals muchenjere kuti ndeimwe nzira yaunzwa nevanhu vari kuda kupwanya nyika ino iyi.

“Vari kuziva kuti chii chakabata nyika yeZimbabwe. They know what is done by our parastatals. They will go and talk to some of our people and do what is happening.
“Vanotaura kuti kana tabva kuZBC, toenda kuZESA, toenda kuZINWA. Regai kuzoti vanhu vacho havasi veZanu-PF, aiwa, zvinonzi kana usingagone kumukurira unomujoina, worova uchibva mukati make, saka mochenjera. Saka tiri kuti nyaya iri mumaoko mehofisi yaPresident.”

The Acting President said the corruption cases were not the business of newspapers, saying the way the cases were being exposed raised eyebrows.

“Nyaya idzi hadzitongwe  mumanewspaper,” she said. “Inyaya dzinonyatsogadzirwa magadzirirwo adzo, asi unozoona mamhanyisirwo adzinoitwa mumapaper wozvibvunza futi kuti haa saka vanotaura kuti inyaya dzekuda kupwanya hurumende nekupwanya musangano weZanu-PF zvechokwadi vari pamwe chete nevanhu vari kuita izvi,’’ she said

Mujuru accused people of wasting their time on useless issues and accused some Zanu-PF members of fighting from within to destroy Government programmes.

“Saka madzimai zvirikutidyira nguva yedu hazvina basa,” she said. “Izvi zvekudyiwa kwemazimari, izvi zvatargeta maparastatals edu atiri kuchema kuti Zesa hatina maindustry, we want more Zesa iye zvino kunounzwa maproject.

“Regai nditi mabusiness ndanga ndajairawo semi, mabusiness ekuita masolar power, mahydro power unoona ichitora gore nemwedzi inoraudza ichingotaurwa, ichingotaurwa, nhai varume muri kumboziva here kuti pananamai vaneCaesar vari kufa magetsi adzima, muri kumboziva here kuti kune vana vari kufa vari pamaoxygen magetsi adzima nekushomeka kana maproject anobata vanhu pakupa mabasa, pakupa hupenyu. Handisi kuti tyorai mutemo.” herald

 

 

About the Corruption Media Monitoring Project

 

The Corruption Media Monitoring Project (CMMP) is a project of the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa) which which monitors and analyses media reports on corruption and related issues. The weekly e-Corruption Alerts  gives an analysis of cases of corruption reported in the media. Furthermore, it gives full details of the articles as well as their authors.

 

 

The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa) is a regional, non-governmental, non-profit making and non-political organisation that was founded in 2004 to contribute towards the prevention and combating of corruption in Southern Africa.[19]

 

The organization was founded by individuals who are concerned about the devastating impact of corruption on development. There was also a realization that Southern African countries and many in the world were not adequately sharing anti-corruption good practices and ACT-Southern Africa wanted to bridge the information gap.

 

«    Vision

The vision of ACT-Southern Africa is to witness an ‘Accountable, transparent and legitimate public and private sector institutions operating alongside a well informed, empowered and actively engaged citizenry’.

 

«    Mission Statement

To contribute towards good governance and the ending of corruption in Southern Africa through: (1) Institutional capacity building, (2) Situational prevention of corruption, (3) Social prevention and public empowerment; (4) Anti-corruption policy and law reform and (5) Research and development.

 

«    Legal status

ACT-Southern Africa is registered in the Republic of South Africa under the Non-Profit Organisation Act[20].  It is also registered in Zimbabwe as a Trust by the Registrar of Deeds[21].

 


[1] Nyashanu, J (2014). Outrage over Muchechetere’s ‘filthy’ package. [online].  Available at https://www.newsday.co.zw/2013/12/11/outrage-muchecheteres-filthy-package/ [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

[2] Business Reporter (2014), Probe medical aid societies — CCZ. [online]. Available at https://www.newsday.co.zw/2014/02/12/probe-medical-aid-societies-ccz/ [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

[3] White House (2014) White House Salaries. [online]. Available at  http://www.whitehouse.gov/21stcenturygov/tools/salaries [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

[4] Wikipedia (2014). President of the United States. [online]. Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_the_United_States. [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

[5] Converted at the rate of N$11 = US$1

[6] Shinovene, I (2013), Namibia: Salaries of SOEs Being Re-Classified. [online] Available at http://www.namibian.com.na/indexx.php?archive_id=112409&page_type=archive_story_detail&page=199 [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

[7] Editor (2014). US$2m housing scandal at ZBC [online]. Available at http://www.herald.co.zw/us2m-housing-scandal-at-zbc/ [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

[8] Tafirenyika, M (2014). ZBC boss in $1m scandal. [online]. Available at http://www.dailynews.co.zw/articles/2014/01/28/zbc-boss-in-1m-scandal [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

[10] Available at http://harare24.com/index-id-news-zk-18677.html[ Accessed on 13 February 2014]

[11] Available at http://harare24.com/index-id-news-zk-18677.html [ Accessed on 13 February 2014]

[13] Available at http://www.namibian.com.na/indexx.php?id=9202&page_type=story_detail. [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

[14] Chipunza, P (2014). [online] PSMAS fires Cuthbert Dube. [online] Available at http://www.herald.co.zw/psmas-fires-cuthbert-dube/ [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

[15] Harare Bureau (2014). PSMAS board slashes Cuthbert Dube’s salary. [online]. Available at http://www.chronicle.co.zw/psmas-board-slashes-cuthbert-dubes-salary/ [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

[16] Nehanda Radio (2014). Mugabe spokesman offers to resign over salary scandal. [online]. Available at Available at http://nehandaradio.com/2014/02/10/mugabe-spokesman-offers-to-resign-over-salary-scandal/ [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

[17] Nkomo, N (2013). Minister Moyo Fires ZBC Boss, Board for Incompetence [online]. Available at http://www.voazimbabwe.com/content/zimbabwe-jonathan-moyo-fires-zbc-boss-board/1790374.html [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

[18] Business Reporter (2014). Probe medical aid societies — CCZ. [online]. Available at https://www.newsday.co.zw/2014/02/12/probe-medical-aid-societies-ccz/ [Accessed on 13 February 2014]

 

[19] In line with the Statute of ACT-Southern Africa, the targeted countries include: The Republic of Angola, The Republic of Botswana, The Democratic Republic of Congo, The Kingdom of Lesotho, The Republic of Malawi, The Republic of Madagascar, The Republic of Mauritius, The Republic of Mozambique, The Republic of Namibia, The Republic of Seychelles, The Republic of South Africa, The Kingdom of Swaziland, The United Republic of Tanzania, The Republic of Zambia and The Republic of Zimbabwe

[20] Registration No. 045-923-NPO

[21] Deeds registration number: MA 147/2004

About Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa

The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa) is a non-profit making organisation registered to facilitate the sharing of anti-corruption best practices and advocacy against corruption in Southern Africa.
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1 Response to Issue 1- e-Corruption Alerts- February 2014- Corruption in Zimbabwean Parastatals

  1. zvipera says:

    Varume mabirwe arikuitwa mari akaoma ,pasi rese hapana nyika inobiwa mari kunge zimbabwe vanhu vasingasungwe. Hakunazve organisation inogona ku ita recrote young pple into corruption like our zanu pf and its zimbabwe

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