FRESH details of obscene salaries at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) have emerged with revelations that top lieutenants of suspended chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere were earning over US$26 000 each per month.
BY OUR STAFF
Documents in possession of The Standard show that Muchechetere was earning a total of US$44 500 monthly in form of salary and allowances.
Suspended general manager of finance Eliot Kasu, general manager of news Tazzen Mandizvidza and general manager of radio services, Allan Chiweshe were each taking home US$26 875 every month.
The documents show that the total monthly wage bill for the 46 managers at ZBC was US$464 967, while that of about 1 050 general workers stood at US$908 534.
In total, the monthly wage bill was US$1,3 million at a time the company was generating a paltry revenue of US$300 000 a month.
The documents show that in March 2009, the monthly salary bill for the 46 top managers was US$92 000 before it was allegedly unilaterally increased three times by Muchechetere without board approval.
Muchechetere’s salary was increased three times from US$6 285 per month to the current US$44 500 by Dube, allegedly without approval and knowledge of the full ZBC board, the documents show.
On the other hand, the salary bill for general staff was at US$300 200 in March 2009 before rising to the current over US$900 000.
The Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting, Professor Jonathan Moyo (pictured) last November suspended Muchechetere and fired the entire ZBC board led by former Public Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS), Cuthbert Dube for incompetence.
Moyo then ordered an audit of the state broadcaster amid revelations of obscene executive salaries and other malfeasances at a time workers had gone for seven months without salaries.
Sources close to investigations currently going on at ZBC said more shocking revelations were expected as there was evidence that there was massive manipulation of the procurement process.
“The story of the looting that was taking place at ZBC and other state institutions is yet to be told,” said a senior government official.
The official cited the case of the ZBC outside broadcasting (ob) radio van whose price was inflated to over US$1 million yet it was bought in China for less than US$100 000.
He said while workers had gone for seven months without salaries, the top ZBC executives continued to pay themselves hefty allowances of up to US$10 000 and other benefits.
The official said ZBC managers were paying themselves using millions of dollars illegally borrowed from a local bank without the knowledge of the board and parent ministry. The corporation is now insolvent with debts of over US$44 million.
He said the government was forced to slash salaries of workers to the 2010 board approved levels after it became apparent that the corporation was on the verge of collapse.