CHIEF executive officers of Zimbabwe’s fiscus-draining state enterprises and parastatals (SEPs) continue to gobble huge salaries and perks despite a government directive to rein in unsustainable wage bills bleeding the largely technically insolvent entities.
Report by Herbert Moyo
Inquiries by the Zimbabwe Independent this week revealed that while other SEPs slashed salaries and perks for parastatal heads from an all-time high of US$80 000 to a range of US$3 000 to US$6 000 per month including perks, NetOne, National Social Security Authority (Nssa) and the Tobacco Research Board (TRB) continue to pay their bosses way above the stipulated figures.
Highly-placed sources said NetOne had made a unilateral decision to award its boss a monthly salary of US$40 000 in defiance of the US$6 000 salary cap while at Nssa the general manager earns US$12 000 a month, albeit with board and line minister’s approval.
“The NetOne boss recently awarded himself a salary hike bringing him to US$40 000 per month in defiance of government directives,” said a source.
“The case of Nssa is different because his salary of US$12 000 was approved by the board and Labour minister (Paurina) Mpariwa after recognising that Nssa is a cash cow for government and other institutions like the banking sector,” the source said.
Nssa was constituted and established by the government in terms of the Nssa Act of 1989 to provide social security to cushion workers upon injury and retirement.
It is believed to have a huge revenue base mainly from monthly remittances by employers on behalf of workers and from investments in various sectors, including property and banking.
While confirming the Nssa CEO’s salary, State Enterprises and Parastatals minister Gorden Moyo remained tight-lipped over developments at NetOne and TRB, but said his ministry would investigate claims against all non-complying parastatals.
“My ministry is serious about restructuring parastatals and implementing policies that will wean them from government support and ensure they become profitable,” Moyo said.
“That includes awarding salaries on the basis of affordability and sustainability. We had ridiculous figures of as much as US$80 000 per month and after looking at regional standards, we recommended a cap of US$6 000, including other benefits, for the best performing SEPs.”
Moyo said the salaries were inclusive of other perks such as housing and travel allowances. He added that government had resolved to only give financial support to SEPs after their compliance with statutory obligations, provisions of the Corporate Governance Framework (CGF) and the Public Finance Management Act.
“To ensure successful restructuring in line with the CGF, all requests for funding from the institutions as well as ministries should now be accompanied by annual budgets and strategic plans, annual reports and audited financial statements, performance agreements between the board and chief executive, approval restructuring proposals and a list of board members,” Moyo said.