By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
11 February 2014
As calls for more corporate accountability intensify, Parliament has ordered the national indigenisation board to submit salary schedules of its top executives.
National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board Chief Executive, Wilson Gwatiringa, appeared before the parliamentary committee last Thursday where he was asked for these details.
According to a Daily News report Mashonaland West Senator Priscah Mupfumira demanded to know who determines the salaries of the indigenisation board’s executives. Mupfumira also demanded to know how much of the organization’s budget is spent on salaries.
Gwatiringa reportedly undertook to provide the requested details but insisted that what he and his team were earning was nowhere nearer the ‘corrupt salaries’ that have recently been reported at various parastatals.
The indigenisation board boss claimed that the organization is broke and needs urgent funding. He revealed that the board received a $2 million allocation from the Treasury out of a requested $10 million in the 2014 national budget.
Apart from government, the board is supposed to get shares from ‘indigenised’ foreign-owned companies. But Gwatiringa told Parliament they were facing ‘resistance and misunderstandings’ from some companies. Gwatiringa further lamented the lack of a legislation allowing them to collect levies, the report said.
In another related issue of public accountability, the Chitungwiza Progressive Residents Association (CHIPRA) says last Friday it sent a letter to the council demanding salary schedules of the top managers. CHIPRA executive member, Fortune Nyamande, told SW Radio Africa that if the council fails to provide the details the association will ask Parliament to summon them.
Nyamande said residents were unhappy with the service delivery from the Chitungwiza Council and they suspected corruption.
Calls for public accountability have intensified recently following revelations of ‘corrupt salaries’ at public institutions such as the Harare City Council, ZBC and the Premier Service Medical Aid Society. CHIPRA confirmed that the move to confront the Chitungwiza council was necessitated by these revelations.
Public anger has heightened, especially after vice President Joice Mujuru publicly attacking the press for revealing these ‘obscene salaries.’ Mujuru’s outburst came soon after local government minister Ignatius Chombo ordered the reappointment of Harare Town Clerk over the salaries issue, soon after his suspension.