By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
11 March 2014
As corporate corruption continues to dominate public debate it has emerged that suspended ZBC finance manager Elliot Kasu was amongst the country’s highest earners.
A report in NewsDay said while Kasu was earning a basic salary of $11,000 he also enjoyed ‘several unlimited freebies which could catapult him to the league of the country’s top earners.’ The newspaper said a catalogue of benefits listed in Kasu’s letter of appointment, which was signed by suspended ZBC CEO Happison Muchechetere, is spread over seven A4 sheets.
Both Kasu and Muchechetere were suspended towards the end of last year which is when the issue of corporate corruption entered the public domain.
According to the report Kasu was entitled to a Toyota Land Cruiser vehicle which he could retain on leaving the company. He was also entitled to an up-market executive housing allowance at prevailing rates while the employer would pay 50% of his mortgage. The company would also pay Kasu’s home utility bills for water, rates and electricity.
Other benefits included 100 percent school fees for three children or direct family dependants for local education, 100 percent higher education fees in the Sadc region for two children or direct family dependants and a similar percentage of fees for personal studies. Kasu was also entitled to a pension scheme borne by the ZBC while his entire family was entitled to non-contributory medical aid and an executive funeral policy package. The Kasus were also entitled to free business class flights.
Also included in the benefits package were the costs of two domestic workers, free gym subscriptions, club membership, two mobile phones, two contract lines, home landline, a laptop, annual DStv subscriptions, a radio, a TV set, a generator, unlimited fuel and 24 hour security.
The MDC-T MP for Mabvuku, James Maridadi, said the issue of corrupt salaries at the national broadcaster was just the tip of an iceberg. Maridadi, who is also a member of the parliamentary portfolio committee on media, urged President Mugabe to initiate a ‘clear strategy’ to deal with graft across the board. He said: ‘I think there is enough information and evidence already and what we now need is the President to act. We as the legislators have done our duty as have the members of the press. We now need leadership.’
Maridadi said while there might be no legal case against the recipients of the high salaries the government must act on the basis of the ‘immorality’ of such salaries. He said: ‘Just the public outrage is enough proof that there is everything immoral about these salaries.’
Maridadi’s comments come days after Prosecutor General Johannes Tomana said executives who earned the so called ‘obscene salaries’ had not broken any law in the country.