By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
30 April 2013
The MDC-T shadow Minister for Justice, Jessie Majome, has said the official crusade against corruption is mere ‘political posturing’ and people should not expect any positive results because the ‘whole government, including the president, are complicit.’
Majome’s comments come after it emerged that the high earning CEOs are still getting the same ‘obscene salaries’ and benefits whose details shocked Zimbabweans. Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa had initially issued a directive limiting salaries of public executives to $6,000 per month and last week, Chinamasa said he was still awaiting any legal challenges to his order.
But Majome told SW Radio Africa’s Cutting Edge programme that Chinamasa’s threat was ‘empty rhetoric.’ She said as a lawyer Chinamasa was obviously aware that his order had no legal binding and was therefore ‘posturing.’
She said: ‘The minister is aware of the legal implications of contracts of employment and the labour law in general. You cannot just issue an order and say just because I am a minister stop this salary.’ She added: ‘It would have been an unfair labour practice to just stop people’s salaries arbitrarily. Processes that include consultations will have to be followed to stop these mega salaries.’
Majome said the process of scrapping the ‘obscene salaries’ should be accompanied by an inquiry into how they were approved. She said it was inconceivable that President Mugabe and his entire government were not complicit in the scam.
Three months ago the MDC-T MP for Makokoba, Gorden Moyo, said Zimbabweans should not expect any of the disgraced executives to be prosecuted because they were earning some of the money on behalf of the service chiefs and operatives in the President’s Office. Moyo said the CEOs were instructed to pass on some of their earnings to individuals in the army and the CIO, a move meant to ensure the loyalty of the secret services. Around that time Prosecutor General Johannes Tomana also said he would not prosecute any of the exposed executives because there was no case against them.
But according to Majome the salaries scam, in which some executives were found to be earning as much as $500,000, is ‘criminal.’ She said prosecution was achievable under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act) which she says outlaws abuse of office. She said even if the salaries had been approved, the executives were guilty of failing to advise the boards to make decisions that are in the best interest of the public.
Majome further urged members of the Premier Service Medical Aid Society to seek legal advice and take action against former CEO Cuthbert Dube. Details of Dube’s salary of $500,000-plus stunned everyone. Majome said Dube’s salary was ‘untenable.’