Gokwe Member of Parliament Dorothy Mhangami says boards of parastatals must be investigated because a lot of mismanagement is taking place in State enterprises when they are there.
Contributing to the debate on the motion to bring to book those involved in the Premier Services Medical Aid Society scandal, Mhangami said the boards should be disbanded if they have no purpose.
“We need to have robust laws that look at specific issues including the boards that we have in these parastatals, they also have some allowances which they are given as incentives,” she said.
“A lot of mismanagement is happening at parastatals whilst these boards are there. There is need to interrogate the boards that we have whose parastatals have mismanaged the funds. What is the purpose of such boards? If they do not have a purpose, then they should be disbanded because they are not doing their job.”
Mhangami said there was a need to look at the whole compensation structure and questioned why managers were being paid such high salaries when the workers were getting peanuts because the managers did not work alone.
HON. MANGAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker. May I also begin by thanking the mover of this motion Hon. Cross. This is a very important motion which has been brought to this House because it has been a topical issue in terms of extortion of public funds by different organisations in the society.
The mismanagement of funds Madam Speaker, is a criminal offence which the law has to take its course and those that do that must be arrested, tried and jailed. As Parliament, we should come up with specific action to be taken on such behaviour. I was actually wondering that it appears society on its own does not pay people according to what they contribute. It is very unfair. When you look at the amount that is given to one who is at management level; the amount that very person gets in comparison to the rest of those that are below is just very unfair because you cannot be a manager working alone with the rest of the group. I think it should be revised that society does not pay people according to what they contribute.
I was wondering one day why a footballer who plays 90 minutes is given $15 000 per game for entertaining people. I said to myself, is this what society requires? I also looked at management and the role that they play. They do not do it alone but they do it with the rest of the people in the company and look at what they earn. It is very sad. I was suggesting that looking at NSSA on its own, it is collecting monies from almost everybody in Zimbabwe and you are only given pension when you are at 65 years. Our life expectancy has been reduced and most of us do not reach 65 years. It means that there are a lot of monies which are at NSSA which are not being accounted for and earned for no good reason. Those whose monies are deducted from their salaries and do not accumulate to stages where they can be refunded because you only work for a few years whilst your monies are being deducted like what is happening at the moment; those monies are difficult to audit so that NSSA can account for them. We need to have robust laws that look at specific issues including the boards that we have in these parastatals, they also have some allowances which they are given as incentives. A lot of mismanagement is happening at parastatals whilst these boards are there. There is need to interrogate the boards that we have whose parastatals have mismanaged the funds. What is the purpose of such boards? If they do not have a purpose, then they should be disbanded because they are not doing their job. Most of the time, it is the public who raise awareness that the boards are not doing their work.
It is very important that as Parliament, we also look at issues that already have been taking place especially at PSMAS. I am a contributor to PSMAS. I pay $50 per month but right now, I am asked to pay $10 as co-payment whenever I visit a doctor. One wonders what is happening to my $50. We must have some of these groups reduced because they have become too big for them to be controlled. They should be reduced to a smaller unit because right now they seem not to be manageable. I want to conclude by suggesting that, of the issues that are being raised by Hon. Members here, I think we should come up with a conclusion and recommendations that are going to be adhered to in this House. I thank you Madam Speaker.