By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
28 February 2014
In what could be yet another act of mere witch hunting and not a genuine fight against corruption, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) is investigating ZBC bosses’ salaries to ascertain whether they paid their taxes in full.
The move follows revelations that top management at the state broadcaster were earning ‘corrupt salaries’ with the CEO Happison Muchechetere earning as much as $40,000 a month. Muchechetere and other senior managers are now on forced leave, but Information Minister Jonathan Moyo sacked the entire ZBC board.
The Daily News reported this week that Zimra, which is the national tax collecting body, sent a letter to ZBC demanding pay slips, employment contracts and payment schedules of its senior managers. According to the letter Zimra is demanding the payment schedules for the period February 2009 and December 2013.
Although generally accepted as a positive step in the fight against corruption, the move against Muchechetere and his colleagues is also seen as part of ZANU PF political infighting. Observers have queried why other culprits in corporate corruption, such as Presidential spokesperson George Charamba and former information minister Webster Shamu remain, untouched.
Charamba received as much as $100,000 for sitting on the Premier Medical Services Medical Aid Society Board in 2013 while Shamu, as information minister, was Muchechetere’s boss during the time he was earning a ‘corrupt salary.’
Charamba and Moyo are said to belong to a faction led by Emmerson Mnangagwa which is in competition with the one led by vice President Joice Mujuru in the succession battle. The two are believed to be behind the state media’s reports on corporate corruption with the aim of tarnishing members of the Mujuru faction.