Chinamasa says he cannot give timeframe to rectify CEO salaries


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Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa this week said he could not give a timeframe on when the government would regularise salaries for chief executives of state enterprises which it said must be capped at US$6 000 a month, three months ago.

The government was forced to introduce a cap following revelations that some CEOs were earning as much as US$500 000 a month, but there have been reports that the salaries of most CEOs was never reduced.

Chinamasa said the US$6 000 was an interim arrangement while the government carried out an audit but he said he could not give a timeframe on when this arrangement would be concluded.

“I do not want to mislead the House by giving timeframes because there are about 91/92 local authorities countrywide. There are about the same number of state enterprises and companies,” he said in response to a question from Warren Park Member of Parliament Elias Mudzuri.

“The exercise started carrying out remuneration audits. We are basically prioritising, starting with the big corporations and big state enterprises. We are also prioritising, starting with those companies where we suspect there was most abuse though our suspicions could be wrong. Those are the areas which we target as a matter of priority but I will not give any timeframes.”

 

Q & A:

 

ENG. MUDZURI: My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. You pronounced a policy on salary capping after the Salary-Gate scandal in the nation. Would you clarify in this House how you are going to penalty implementation of the US$6 000 capping; how you are going to look at different ministries, how they have allowed such salaries to come about and how you are going to stop the continuous bleeding of finances within different parastatals and local authorities?

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHINAMASA): I thank the hon. Member for the question. Firstly, the capping at US$6 000 was and is an interim measure pending a remuneration audit of each parastatal. This may give us facts and figures about the capacity of each parastatal to maintain the levels of salaries they were paying. It will also give us an idea about the role of that parastatal in our economy, the size of that parastatal and so on. After the remuneration audit is complete, the salaries will either go up or down depending on the results of the exercise. Obviously, you cannot equate a company like Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) with a small company in terms of its ability to pay and expectations we have from ZESA power delivery and so on. So, we cannot basically have an across the board capping. I thank you
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ENG. MUDZURI: My supplementary question is, what period is the interim? How long is the interim and how far is it working right now because we have gone for three months? How far are you going to say this is the interim? How much time have you given this interim period to implement the real salaries which you are talking about?

MR. CHINAMASA: I do not want to mislead the House by giving timeframes because there are about 91/92 local authorities countrywide. There are about the same number of state enterprises and companies. The exercise started carrying out remuneration audits. We are basically prioritising, starting with the big corporations and big state enterprises. We are also prioritising, starting with those companies where we suspect there was most abuse though our suspicions could be wrong. Those are the areas which we target as a matter of priority but I will not give any timeframes.

(237 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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