Government hasty in reducing salaries of parastatal CEOs – MP


0

The government was hasty in reducing the salaries of chief executives of state enterprises to US$6 000 a month because the salaries that were considered to be outrages were agreed between the employer and employee, Hurungwe North Member of Parliament Reuben Marumahoko said yesterday.

He said that before people could talk about salarygate, where some CEOs of state enterprises were earning more than US$500 000 a month including allowances, they should ask: How did this happen?

“Where was the Minister or Ministry if it is a parastatal? Where was the board in this instance when this man was paid this salary?” he asked.

In his contribution to the debate on good governance, Marumahoko said: “A man applies for a job. He goes for an interview and he offers his service. The company asks what he is worth. The man says whatever he is worth and the company agrees to pay him. A contract is drawn and the man is engaged. Would it be his real problem if he is paid a higher salary?

“This is an agreement between the employer and the employee. Where does corruption come into the employee? He has been offered whatever salary that suites him….. As long as you are an employee; you give your service to the employer, the employer pays what he can afford in terms of his production. I do not see where one would be called corrupt.

“One would be corrupt, yes, where you go and pay yourselves some hidden allowances which are not authorised.”

He said the government had a reason to peg the salaries at $6 000 but was it a clever thing to do? Where does this end us?

“I will agree it is an interim measure for the government to set out what salaries could be allocated to each parastatal. There is no problem to that but I feel it was a hasty decision. Government had to do something because it had gone out of hand.”

 

Full contribution:

 

MR. MARUMAHOKO: I rise to join other members who spoke on this motion. Before I do that, I would like to thank Hon. Madzimure who introduced this motion as well as Hon. Zindi, who set an amendment to this motion.

Mr. Speaker Sir, corruption in a society destroys the real human aspirations. Zimbabwe today is rated as number three in terms of corruption in Africa. It is something that every Member here has never dreamt of that, at one point, Zimbabwe will be at that level in terms of corruption.

Corruption comes after a lot of things. The first one that comes to my mind is when there is poverty in a country, when the economy of a country is not performing well, that is a recipe for corruption. We have had a lot of speakers here pointing fingers at other personnel or other hon. members that so and so is corrupt to an extent that hon. Speaker, you stood yourself and guided the House that you may face some litigations if you continue pointing fingers at some individuals though there is a privilege in Parliament where you say whatever you might want to say but the Constitution guides us.

You were labeled, as a Speaker who was trying to gag Parliament. But really, it is your duty; it is within you responsibility to guide the House. If we look at the discussion that was in this Parliament as regards to salaries which ended up as Salarygate; the first question that comes to mind is; how did this happen? A man applies for a job. He goes for an interview and he offers his service; the company asks what he is worth. The man says whatever he is worth and the company agrees to pay him. A contract is drawn and the man is engaged. Would it be his real problem if he is paid a higher salary?

This is an agreement between the employer and the employee. Where does corruption come into the employee? He has been offered whatever salary that suites him. President Kennedy said, there is no employee in this world who would be satisfied with his salary. As long as you are an employee; you give your service to the employer, the employer pays what he can afford in terms of his production. I do not see where one would be called corrupt.

One would be corrupt, yes, where you go and pay yourselves some hidden allowances which are not authorised. The chief executive officer in a company is paid according to production. If at all there was some anomaly, in this instance where one gets a salary to a level where we say it is Salarygate; where was the Minister or Ministry if it is a parastatal? Where was the board in this instance when this man was paid this salary?

To me, Mr. Speaker, we need to be very careful here. We end up with these people taking Government or ministries to court. We should differentiate straightforward corruption from underhand corruption because this is where two people agree, draw a contract and tomorrow you say what he is getting is tantamount to corruption. I think we need to think deeper than that.

Yes, Government had a reason to peg the salaries at $6 000 but is it a clever thing to do? Where does this end us? I will agree it is an interim measure for the Government to set out what salaries could be allocated to each parastatal. There is no problem to that but I feel it was a hasty decision. Government had to do something because it had gone out of hand.

Corruption as we speak now is almost everywhere. It is starting at schools and hospitals. When I grew up, some of my age mates can concur with me that during our time, we never had a situation where a lawyer, doctor or teacher was taken before the court that he had stolen.

But what is happening today? All these professionals are being dragged before the law because of theft or whatever. The society needs to start from the word go – from schools to teach our children to know what is corruption and what is not corruption. So we have a tall order as a nation to educate our people on what is corruption and what is not corruption.

I need to thank the hon. member who brought this motion to Parliament and I am sure that the Committee that is going to be put in place would be a Committee of credible people. People who know what they are going to look for, people who will understand what the mandate assigned to them is all about. Otherwise if you just cherry pick, Mr. Speaker, you never know who you pick. You need to be really thorough in your selection of whoever gets into that Committee. People who have credible reputation, who have no fear or favour; I am sure if you identify such people, then this Committee will sit and come up with good results, otherwise we must be wasting our time here condemning corruption but at the end we have no control over it; we have no answer to it. May I thank you Mr. Speaker for affording me this time to air my views.

(5 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHARETweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Like it? Share with your friends!

0
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.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *