Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mugabe earns US$4 000 per month, far less than the tens of thousands of dollars pocketed by bosses at under-performing State-linked enterprises.
His salary is also the lowest for any head of state and/or government in southern Africa.The Head of State and Government and Commander-In-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces disclosed his salary in an interview with Ghanaian-born British journalist and film-maker Roy Agyemang for a BBC documentary titled “Robert Mugabe @ 90”, which was aired at the weekend.
“I am earning US$4 000 just now, because of the hard times this is what we decided on, that we should recognise the hard times at the moment,” President Mugabe said.
“All the parastatals now we were discussing them. One-by-one we will go through them all and see what they were paying to the management. It’s the managements that were benefiting in most of these cases,” he said.
According to Finance Ministry figures, NetOne boss Mr Reward Kangai’s monthly salary and allowances were equivalent to President Mugabe’s annual salary.
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, recently revealed that executives in State-linked firms chewed up about US$600 million in salaries and allowances since 2009, and US$133 million last year alone.
The money, he said, was pocketed by about 3 000 individuals who sat on boards or were chief executives and senior managers of the country’s 78 parastatals and State enterprises.
To halt the mega-packages, Government drew up a Corporate Governance and Remuneration Policy Framework to monitor operations of parastatals and local authorities as well as curb corruption and awarding of unrealistic public sector salaries and allowances.
Prof Moyo said Government was turning the policy framework into an Act of Parliament to legally punish officials who deviated from good corporate governance.
Government has since capped public sector packages at US$6 000 monthly, pending finalisation of a comprehensive salary structure.
Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda last month issued a directive to line ministries that the new salary structure must be adhered to starting this month.
The total package would be split on a 60-40 basis in regards to salaries and allowances, with everything taxable.
About US$1 168 950 will be saved monthly as a result of reduced salaries and perks of 73 out of 90 parastatal heads who were earning over US$6 000 monthly.
This amount is enough to pay at least 3 000 civil servants every month and if savings from some line managers and technicians who were also earning mega salaries are to be effected, the figure will increase.
According to figures released by Government last month, the highest paid chief executive was former Premier Medical Aid Society boss, Dr Cuthbert Dube, whose total guaranteed pay packet came to US$535 499 monthly (US$230 000 basic salary and US$305 499 in allowances).
The society had accumulated a debt of over US$38 million as of December 2013 – the majority of which was due to service providers, and made it difficult for members to access healthcare.
While PSMAS is not a Government entity, State employees weigh in with 80 percent of the society’s contributions.
The highest-paid boss at a parastatal, according to the Finance Ministry, was Mr Kangai who took home US$43 693 monthly, while ZBC’s suspended CEO Mr Happison Muchechetere took home at least US$37 050.
Government and other analysts have allayed fears that the remuneration cap will result in skills flight, saying Zimbabwe had enough expertise to run the public sector.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa has also challenged any public sector boss unhappy with the cap to take up the matter in court.
What other Presidents earn
President Barack Obama (USA) — US$33 000
President Jacob Zuma (SA) — US$21 000
Prime Minister David Cameron (UK) US$ 20 000
President Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya) — US$15 000
President Hifikepunye Pohamba (Namibia) — US$10 000
President Jose Eduardo dos Santos (Angola) — US$5 000
President Michael Sata (Zambia) — US$7 000
President Mugabe (Zim) — US$4 000