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Labour unions deplore obscene salaries

WORKERS’ representative bodies have roundly condemned the huge salaries earned by bosses at the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (Psmas) and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) saying they were “immoral” as they were in sharp contrast with the paltry salaries most employees were getting.

BY PHYLLIS MBANJE

It has emerged Psmas chief executive officer, Cuthbert Dube  and ZBC boss Happison Muchechetere earned US$230 000 and US$27 000 per month respectively.

At the same time, employees at the national broadcaster went for over six months without pay with Dube as chairman of the ZBC board. At PSMAS, he was getting a salary of US$230 000 per month, which loosely translated to overUS$10 000 per day and about US$1 300 per hour.

The Medical Workers Union (Mpawuz) said it was deeply concerned that some Psmas bosses were taking home as much as US$200 000 in salaries per month.

“This is morally reprehensible considering the meagre Psmas employees are earning,” reads part of the statement from Mpawuz.
The union said there were bound to be other bosses who were still to be exposed, especially in the private sector where salaries were not regulated.

The union said in the face of such huge salaries, it would soon press for salaries no less than US$800 per month for ordinary workers.
“We cannot continue to allow 14 top executives to earn US$1,1 million per month more than the total amount of what hundreds of Psmas employees are earning,” said the union.

Also mired in the salary scam is Psmas’s former finance manager, Ernest Gwinyai who earned a basic salary of US$200 000 a month while group operations executive, Enock Chitekedza was getting US$122 000 per month.

There were eight other senior executives who were earning basic salaries of US$60 000 per month while three middle managers were paid US$30 000, US$22 000 and US$15 000 each.

Pmawuz said if the bosses’ salaries were cut to “reasonable levels” the medical aid society would afford to award its lowest paid employees’ salaries above US$1 200 per month.

Probe parastatal executives’ salaries: ZCTU

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), the country’s largest worker representative body, has called on government to institute a probe into salaries of parastatal executives in the country.

“We are calling on the government to start probing salaries of parastatal executives because the case is not only about the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and Psmas, but all parastatals have become looting grounds,” said the union.

It said it was alarmed by the hefty salaries for executives at Psmas considering that the society owed service providers as much as US$38 million.

“Over the years we have been calling for the rationalisation of executive salaries and those of ordinary workers but this has fallen on deaf ears across the industry,” said the labour body.

The union also said the salaries of executives both in the private and public sector must be made public for transparency and accountability.
Independent economist, Christopher Mugaga said it was unfortunate that the executives were awarding themselves such salaries in the face of abject poverty.

“How do you explain a scenario where someone will award himself such unusual levels of salaries in a country where there is a sea of poverty,” said Mugaga. “The honourable thing for Cuthbert Dube to do is to step down from Psmas. I am sure crazy salaries for Dube and Muchechetere are just a tip of the iceberg.”

Civil servants also lashed out at the executives whom they described as selfish and called on the government to adopt salary guidelines.
President of the Public Service Association, Cecilia Alexander said government should closely monitor state enterprises.
“We are disappointed as workers and people who contribute to PSMAS,” she said.

Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu said there was urgent need to carry out a complete overhaul of the administration at PSMAS. He said the current administration was “questionable”.

“The issue of salaries needs to be regularised at all public institutions,” said Ndlovu.

PSMAS has since resolved to cut the salaries of Dube and some senior managers.

13 Responses to Labour unions deplore obscene salaries

  1. Gutter Poet January 26, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    The salary schedule is reported to have been surrendered to the chief cabinet secretary..now this makes it confidential, not so? These are public officers whose salaries were once hidden by the boards who paid them now they are going to be hidden by cabinet..of this you can be sure. What makes this whole thing smell to high heaven is salaries of others like Harare Town Clerk, Muchechetere and Dube and his team are in the media everywhere..In the spirit of fairness, one would have expected this schedule to be made public as I am sure not all parastal bosses were going overboard like Dube, Muchechetere and Co..dont these deserve a pat on the back for staying the course rather than be lumped with offenders who are being protected by this secrecy. And where is parliament in all this? By the way is it true that Mr. George Charamba was also a board member of PSMAS..Now how many other civil servants were sitting in Parastatal boards? Former MDC minister was in charge of parastatals, does he not have a schedule which he can make available to the public rather than this one that will never see the light of day much as the abandoned land audit. Why is government making enemies with people that it says it represents with these asinine moves? Who is so important that they need this protection which trashing the image of a whole government? And what are you saying to Dube and Muchechetere whose names have been dragged in the sewers when you are attempting to protect others who have done worse? Where is the justice?

    • Tired of this mess January 26, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

      Nothing is going to happen to Cashbert Dube and company. Yes George Charamba is a board member at PSMAS, he was also instrumental in the appointment of Cashbert Dube as board chairman at ZBC so he is part of the gravy train. The other reason why nothing will happen to the PSMAS millionaires is because (from credible PSMAS sources), Cashbert was financing the treatment of the President in the far east. Imagine the society fails to settle claims for $30 to its ordinary members, but flies the President to Singapore for treatment every 3 months, at what cost? WE WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT THE BOARD WAS BEING PAID AND THAT IS THE BOTTOM LINE. THAT IS ZIMBABWE FOR YOU, THE KINGDOM OF CORRUPTION ORCHESTRATED IN THE HIGHEST OFFICES.

  2. Gutter Poet January 26, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    Following up on my earlier post..both the civil service unions whose membership were being ripped off by PSMAS and ZCTU should not imagine for one moment that their members are idiots..far from it. They are biding their time for an oppotune moment to boot the whole sorry lot of you out. You sound as if it is enough that Dube has reduced his salary from 230k to 60 000 when he should not be earning anywhere near this..Dube and Muchechetere should simply be made to repay what they stole and given market related salaries..USD 5 000 is still a princely amount hence more than fair. As for the Unions…your members are still watching you..they want to know what you are going to do about this robbery from all parastatals and other quasi government institutions not issue some lame press statment and promptly fall asleep. You may choose to snore this HORROR away but, you can be sure..your members are not sleeping as well. Better make a move to get that schedule to rescue the little that is left of your tattered reputations as collective representatives of labour in the land otherwise it is curtains for most of you! Demand that schedule..it is your riight as labour and tax payers. In any case your salaries as teachers, nurses and artisans in industry are known, salaries of cabinet and the president are known..who is being protected here except rabid unrepentant thieves…Go, on make a hue and cry over this everyone expects no less from you!

  3. Observer January 26, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    Salaries…….salaries.Does anybody care for the subscribers who are getting a raw deal from doctors and pharmacies who in turn are getting a raw deal from Premier Medical society as a result of subscriptions going to ,yes salaries,,,,,,,,,,,salaries.

  4. Zvakaoma January 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    I dont understand this , with all the imeasurable damage done by this criminal dube he is left to continue worst stil to decide his new amount of loot. His post shld be advertised as vacant so that moral, ethical and competant pple can take over. If this fails gvt shld seriously consider withdrawing from this scheme and individual members wil follow. We need an alternative medical scheme. If this fails then the problem is much much bigger than we all think.

  5. Zvakaoma January 26, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

    As a follow up to this saga may you please publish the ownership structure at psmas. I think dube and his young brother muchechetere shld be invited to a live phone in programe they have lots of explanations to do.

  6. Roy Mataya January 26, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    This really terrible state have been brought by the complete lack of governance in state enterprises. How are these directors appointed? Are they evaluated and by who? Until we get our corporate governance right this sorry state will be with us forever. A properly appointed board who know what they are doing should be able to hold management accountable. We have allowed management to literally steal from the lowly paid- how sad and immoral. First get rid of these managers and appoint well trained and balanced boards

    • Gutter Poet January 27, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

      @Roy- You ask a good question..Shouldnt parliament not be involved in the interviewing and approving these board members as they are going to be serving in government companies and parliament is seized with the oversight of government..Why has parliament been silent all these years about these appointments. The GNU spent too much time trying to show us who insults the other best and here is the result..In Shona they say mudzimu waro bonga kuwona huku dzichirwa..All these thieves in parastatals had to do was place an ad on TV congratulating the president on his birthday or something then get really serious about robbing us blind. Parliament should just this once in the million years of existence be seen to be on the side of the people who elected them and do the right thing..They should insist that this schedule is made public and those who robbed us are made to pay us back..Is there a chance of this happening in this country, I wonder?

  7. Mafirakureva January 26, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

    As things stand Zanu pf wants to sweep this under the carpet.Look at how swift they send muchechetere and co on forced leave and look at how they are dealing with Cashbert Dube with kid gloves.The minister of Health David Parirenyatwa has failed us.Is it because Cuthbert is untouchable and bigger than the entire civil service?,where is the opposition MDC shouldnt it be spearheading a campaign against this form of maldminstration to once again gain popularity but they are busy fighting each other.If this was in south africa and an ANC member was being corrupt the DA would make a meal out of it.

  8. Tumai January 27, 2014 at 4:43 am #

    The few rich & powerful at the top loot and squander the little earnings that the poor have invested in their health insurance. Now I know that them and us do not share a common destiny – – it does not matter we are all black – they are now oppressors – no longer liberators. At this point I will not be singing, ”Long live comrade Mugabe” as we did as kids after independence. Zvakwana.

  9. Chimbambaira January 27, 2014 at 7:05 am #

    This is a human rights issue. That one man can pocket so much money isn’t a new phenomenon, but to go months on end without paying your employees?
    I hereby challenge the, as yet, inactive Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), to take this case on as their grand entrance.
    They should investigate this issue and expose all guilty parties to public humiliation and derision.
    They shouldn’t stop there. All domestic workers, maids, garden boys, farm laborers etc, need protection from employer abuse, particularly where remuneration is concerned.
    It’s a human right to enjoy wages sufficient to meet the cost of living.
    Dignity is a human right.

  10. edgar January 27, 2014 at 7:43 am #

    What I find disturbing is what the Union does not say: this man C Dube is just pocketing members subscriptions and investments.

  11. stephen January 27, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    Wanya Dube Henrietwa Rushwaya akaba kuzifa ukamudzinga haunyari zimbavha ziguru

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