RIGHTS activists and analysts have slammed the awarding of “golden handshakes” to heads of parastatals who would have been dismissed or “retired” for failing to turn around the entities, saying the practice fuelled corruption.
By Paidamoyo Muzulu
The public outcry comes in the wake of hefty packages extended to fired executives at Zupco, Premier Servive Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) and ZBC despite public statements from the authorities that the actions of the officials bordered on illegality.
Zupco chief executive Brian Chawasarira is said to have left the broke public transporter with $50 000 and a Toyota Prado utility vehicle as rewards. PSMAS is still working out Cuthbert Dube’s exit package while at ZBC suspended CEO Happison Muchechetere is on forced leave with benefits.
Social and economic justice activist Hopewell Gumbo said failure by the State to impose severe punishments on corrupt or failed managers would serve to encourage others in the public service to adopt a business-as-usual approach to work.
“It is unfortunate that the nation is blessing years of looting with golden handshakes when in fact the place for these thieves is jail,” Gumbo said.
“Respective ministers who are allowing this to happen under their nose should be investigated and made to account for such daylight robbery.”
Tshwane University-based public management expert Ricky Mukonza said such actions set a bad precedent.
“It sets a wrong precedent to those still in the organisations who are engaging or intend to engage in corrupt activities. The culprits in the ‘Salarygate’ scandal should be used as an example to demonstrate that corruption in the public service is not acceptable,” Mukonza said.
These developments are taking place at a time President Robert Mugabe called for all parastatals to furnish his office with their executive pay schedules amid revelations that most of them were raking in an average of $50 000 a month in salaries.