By RES Cook
I HAVE just seen an advertisement for an executive director for an NGO, the Southern African Network of Aids Service Organisations.
The salary offered for this post, to be based in Harare, is US$6 000 per annum.
At the interbank rate th
at converts to about $600 000 000 and to about $1 380 000 000 at the parallel market rate.
In an unrelated news item I have just read that “the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe says that an average family of five requires at least $35 000 000 every month but an average middle class citizen earns just $15 000 000”.
An average “middle class citizen” earns $15 million per month and an executive director of an NGO based in Zimbabwe will earn in reality well in excess of $1 billion per month!
And I foolishly thought that NGOs were there to selflessly serve the poor, the sick, and the needy.
No wonder NGOs so desperately defend themselves when threatened by the Zimbabwe government — there is so much at stake!
Most of it presumably the salaries and perks of staff who are more closely connected in lifestyle to Zimbabwe’s ruling elite of kleptocrats than to the suffering masses they purport to serve.
“The poor, the sick and the needy” are certainly a multi-billion dollar industry.
It’s just unfortunate that “the poor, the sick, and the needy” don’t see much of the billions — in Zimbabwe or indeed anywhere else.