HomeLocal NewsOutrage over Muchechetere’s ‘filthy’ package

Outrage over Muchechetere’s ‘filthy’ package

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MEDIA representative groups and former executives of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) yesterday expressed outrage at suspended CEO Happison Muchechetere’s “obscene” salary and perks.

JOHN NYASHANU

They said it was unbelievable that the head of a company could find it justifiable that he takes such huge remuneration and allowances while the rest of the employees wallowed in poverty –  going for as long as five months without salaries.

They told NewsDay in separate interviews, that Media, Information and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo did right to institute investigations at the corporation and sending Muchechetere on forced leave last month, pending a forensic audit.

Moyo’s deputy Supa Mandiwanzira on Monday revealed that Muchechetere was awarding himself a package in excess of $40 000 which included a $27 000 monthly salary, allowances of up to $6 000, unlimited fuel allocation, payment of his mortgage, construction of a leasure area including a precast wall at his residence, and payment of as much as $2 500 for his domestic workers’ wages.

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Zimbabwe chapter chairperson Njabulo Ncube described Muchechetere’s employment benefits as “scandalous”.

“This gives credence to minister Jonathan Moyo’s firing of the ZBC  board, suspension of the CEO and the ongoing audit.  No manager should allow themselves to take away such frightening benefits while the generality of the workforce is suffering to that extent.

“The board should have been privy to the salary and allowances of its executives and is therefore liable for the excesses and penury at ZBC because good governance demands accountability.  This is a scandal,” said Ncube.

Zimbabwe Union of Journalists secretary-general Foster Dongozi weighed in saying: “If it’s true that those obscene salaries were being paid, it is unfortunate and justifies government’s intervention.

It is a moral disgrace if the reports are true that some people could swim in such filthy and decadent wealth while workers went without.  We applaud the ministry (of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services) for the intervention, something we have been calling for, for close to two years,” he said. Former ZBC CEO Munyaradzi Hwengwere said he hoped corrective measures would be put in place to turn around the fortunes of the corporation.

“Though I don’t have detailed information on what is happening, except what I read in the media, I hope the challenges they are facing will be solved.  It is my sincere hope that everything will be sorted out for the benefit of workers, listeners and viewers,” said Hwengwere, who was at the helm of ZBC at the turn of the millennium.

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