Top earners did not break any laws, says Tomana

Johannes Tomana

Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana

By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
10 March 2014

The Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana will not file any criminal charges against parastatal heads that were paying themselves hefty salaries and perks.

This move has been roundly condemned by the opposition MDC-T, with one of its MPs, Settlement Chikwinya, describing it as a ‘game of protection’ by Tomana.

Tomana said the CEO’s, who received gross overcompensation for poor performance, had not broken any law in the country. Questions however will be asked if the heads paid any tax to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra).

The salary-gate involves a number of cabinet ministers, parastatal bosses and senior government officials. The scandal first broke out when it was revealed that the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) suspended chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere, was reportedly earning over US$44,000 per month in salaries and allowances.

His three general managers, Elliot Kasu, Tazzen Mandizvidza and Allan Chiweshe, were each reportedly taking home over US$26,000 every month. Former Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) boss, Cuthbert Dube, was said to earn US$500 000 a month in salary and allowances, while Harare town clerk Tendai Mahachi, and other council executives, were earning around US$37,000 at a time when the municipality was failing to pay workers and provide essential services

In an interview over the weekend, Tomana said while there may be questions on the morality of the remuneration, law enforcement agents could not act because there was no statute which regulates incomes or prices in Zimbabwe.

‘Unfortunately, morals are not laws. Morals can be raw materials that enable you to have certain laws. When a moral pinches you enough it can be raised into a law, but that has not happened.

‘In this case, you ask yourself: what has been violated when there is no regulation or law which controls prices and salaries? There is no law which stops people from earning too much. In court they know we cannot punish people for not breaking the law,’ Tomana said.

However the MDC-T legislator for Mbizo begged to differ with Tomana, saying the parastatal bosses were guilty of a breach of abuse of authority for self-enrichment.

‘When the CEO’s and parastatal board chairmen signed these perks, they were abusing their positions to steal public money. Tomana, being ZANU P,F found it unattainable to prosecute appointees from ZANU PF,’ charged Chikwinya.

11 Responsesto “Top earners did not break any laws, says Tomana”

  1. jongwe says:

    quite right, there are no laws broken here and you must pay the right price to attract the quality of people to lead these organisations, pay peanuts and you get monkeys, Imagine trying to attract the calibre of Patrick Chinamasa without offering him a good package, he wouldn’t do it then where would we be

    • nehanda nyakasikana says:

      “where would we be without the likes of Chinamasa? This is tongue in cheek, right?

    • Common Sense says:

      The calibre of Patrick Chinamasa, is EXACTLY why we are in the hold of corruption in the first place…

      You miss the fact that the salaries are way over market price and have no bearing on the individual, nor the person needed for the role… multi-national corporates in the US and UK don’t give this to their CEO’s etc


      Zimbabwe – Africa’s ANIMAL FARM – a Mafia State run by criminals purely for the financial self interest of criminals!

      • Chimbwido Warvet says:

        You can also help us in identifying the laws there were violated by these executives to warrant their prosecution. I am aware, you can come out with surprises that we can all accept. The ball is in your court now, mate.

  2. Common Sense says:

    I agree with Chikwinya et al… this is theft by virtue of position…. watch the uprising grow

    • Ziziharinanyanga says:

      Cry the beloved country. Corruption is said to be not a breach of law in only Zimbabwe. Ian Smith never empted the nation coffers like this.

      The good thing to all Zimbabweans is that no regime in the world has ever sustained corruption. They are digging their own graves for the masses shall demand what was stollen from them.

      • Chimbwido Warvet says:

        Well said but tell us the laws that were broken for the prosecutor general to prosecute these executives. For instance, is it unlawful for people to get too much money? If so, please tell us which section of the legislation that disallows it. While it is acceptable that these executives got too much money in view of the economic problems the country is going through with many people being asked to tighten their belts, they should be laws in place against giving people too much money. It is not just a matter of arresting people without a clear understanding of the laws that were violated. Of course, the prosecutor general is spot on. Instead, the boards of directors of parastatals should be quizzed as to why they approved such outrageous salaries to their executives in a country whose economy can not sustain such luxury. These are the guys who should be sacked and answer charges of corrupt behaviour. Do you accept my argument, my friend?

        • Yepec says:

          No, Chimbwido Warvet ! These CEOs of the country’s Parastatals abused their authority and that is against the laws of the country. Zimbabwe is going to the pigs with your type of people.

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            You should separate opinions from facts, Yepec. Quite frankly, you have told us your opinion that has no legal basis. Here is the deal you need to satisfy for us to agree with your views. Tell us which codes of practice were broken or the statutes that were violated by the country’s chief executives to support your claim. And what it too much money and how can it be defined for the man in the street to understand?

  3. LordDenning says:

    Chikwinya thinks more like a lawyer than this attorney general. Although there are no criminal sanctions or a specific law to bar huge perks of salaries the effects of rewarding such perks forms a chain of causation which can trigger a tortious liability on those who work for the parastatals who were affected by such huge perks, which is a breach of some of the statutory provisions. This can even be stretched to abuse of office especially in light of 1000′s of workers going without pay for months while their bosses earn such scandalous salaries per month.

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