PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is personally interested in knowing and addressing the obscene salaries of chief executive officers of State-owned entities, NewsDay has learnt.
Mugabe called for an immediate release of salaries and wages schedules of all executives in parastatals and local authorities amidst revelations that the executives were living celebrity lifestyles while general employees were wallowing in poverty.
Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni yesterday revealed Mugabe’s hand in the salaries scandal saying the chief secretary in Mugabe’s office (Misheck Sibanda) had written to all chief executive officers (CEOs) of State-linked companies to submit their schedules to the President’s Office.
“On December 16, I wrote to the town clerk (Tendai Mahachi) applying further pressure on this matter – by which time presidential interest in such matters was also weighing in with the presumed letter from the chief secretary to the President and Cabinet asking CEOs of State-linked entities to attend to salary disclosures,” Manyenyeni said.
Manyenyeni detailed how difficult it had been for the city fathers to get access to the salary schedule of council executives.
“There were further attempts by the town clerk to submit documents vaguely resembling what we were asking for.
“Pursuant to that council held a meeting with the town clerk, but the required information was not provided,” he said.
Manyenyeni said the issue of chefs at Town House refusing to submit their salary schedule has been a subject of concern at various levels of discussion.
He said he, together with the human resources committee chairperson Wellington Chikombo and Mahachi, were empowered by a full council meeting resolution to deal with the matter, but accused the management of not being forthcoming on the matter.
“Ordinarily executive payroll information should be under the control of the human resources committee and generally shared with fellow councillors, but there may be debate as to whether such information should be made public,” said Manyenyeni.
He said to any person in need of such information and entitled to it, has to be “provided at the press of a button”.
Manyenyeni, who was accompanied by Chikombo and the deputy mayor Thomas Muzuva, said the delay by the town clerk in giving him the schedule was a “justifiable cause for concern for councillors. There were further attempts by the town clerk to submit documents vaguely resembling what we were asking for,” Manyenyeni said.
In reference to salary schedule published by our sister paper NewsDay yesterday, Manyenyeni said he had refused submissions that the document seen by NewsDay was forged.
“While the authenticity cannot be fully assured — I have rejected the submission that the schedule was forged,” he said.
“I would like to state that unless I am convinced that the amounts quoted are not correct — I wish to share the councillors’ dismay over the following . . . the shocking amounts themselves against the background of collapsing service delivery in key areas, the delayed payment of salaries of the general workforce of council.”
However, council spokesperson Leslie Gwindi said the salaries quoted in the media were not a reflection of what managers on the ground were getting. He did not provide proof to back his claims.
“The figures do not reflect the true situation with regards the executive salaries The correct salaries are not in any way near those mentioned in the article. Secondly, council has submitted its salary schedule to its parent ministry,” he said.