Obscene mockery of poverty

HARARE - According to the United Nations Development Programme poverty index, a poor person is one who lives below $2 per day.

If such individuals could manage to just get the basics in life they would truly find happiness and purpose in life. 

This explains the importance of basic needs such as food, housing, shelter, health and clothing as the real benchmarks for a decent life.

But when people have everything money can buy in a sea of poverty and they do not care, then such a society is rotten beyond any reasonable doubt.

The almost immoral display of obscene salaries by some public corporations like the Premier Services Medical Aid Society (Psmas) top executives is an affront to all poor people in this country.

It makes being poor a very big joke, a joke reflected by the popular Shona saying “Kusekesa mbavha yakahwanda”.

In a country where millions of children are dropping out of school and many are in dire need of food aid and urban poverty is on the rise leading to the adoption of survival strategies like peri-urban farming among other strategies, it’s a shock when an executive can earn a quarter of a million dollars a month.

Those who doubted the existence of dual societies in the Third World need no further evidence.

We have in our midst first world citizens living in a sea of poverty, while others are struggling to just eke out a living.

In that case, can we talk of Zimbabwean society? What really constitutes such a society?

Is there such a thing like society when there is no commonality of values?

It seems some people care less about what is happening around them, they have no shame at all.

The kind of distortions that we have in this country has reached pandemic levels as at one time it was reported that varsity professors who are expected to be the intellectual leaders in the society earn less than security guards.

At one time former Copac co-chairperson Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana appeared on television arguing that if someone is earning a higher salary we should not campaign to have such a salary cut down but rather we should fight to have our salaries also raised to higher levels.

Indeed he was right but there is no morality in earning some obscene and astronomical salaries in an organisation that depends on impoverished health insurance subscribers.

Such salaries have no justification especially when members are getting a substandard service at the medical clinics where they have to endure long hours crammed on benches waiting to be attended to by doctors.

Some health service providers are now reluctant to accept medical aid cards from the society citing unjustified delays in disbursements of payments.

All this becomes intolerable when executives are getting salaries that are ballooning to over $30 million a year.

That kind of utopia is a mockery of the poverty levels that the majority of Zimbabweans are enduring.
It seems those who are trusted with making decisions which should improve the health of subscribers have found an eldorado.

The callous attitude is now a moral cancer in Zimbabwe as some town clerks in local authorities and senior executives are following the same trend of earning obscene salaries while service provision has become virtually extinct.

They just do not care but they expect residents to pay bills every month so that they can satisfy their appetite for money.

Indeed the poor shall inherit the earth, its penury and death for the masses and splendour for the elite.
This immoral behaviour should be condemned by all progressive people.

Comments (6)

I think this is the reason why they rotate amongst themselves to be chief executives and board members of the companies in Zimbabwe. If you can check there has been no or very insignificant new blood on these boards and on executives. The majority of these are the same people since 1980. They do this mainly to protect their selfish interests and they make sure no one new comes in unless that person is already a family member of such a cult. Out of the blues you cant just walk in and say you are now an executive or a board member. Zimbabwe is now a country of cults and cult members protect one another and they make sure no one outside that cult gets in. Wait and see the people who are going to be appointed to replace Dube and Muchechetere; they come from the same cult which in the end doesn't make an difference. Zimbabwe is dead.

Exiled - 30 January 2014

The observation by Exiled is very apt. The corruption and obscene salaries at ZBC, PSMAS, Air Zim, and other parastatals are a result of the politicisation of these public entities. Management realised that they could get away with their corrupt activities if they chant ZANU PF hymns such as the sanctions mantra. For example Muchechetere claimed that his management skills at ZBC were hampered by sanctions, the MDC and the imperialist 'machinations'. They also donated handsomely to ZANU PF sponsored events such as the 21st February Movement and offered acres of media spaces for condolences and congratulations to ZANU PF cadres dead and alive to cover up their nefarious looting in the public entities. Most of these fat cats sit on multiple Boards of government aligned entities because they are regarded as ZANU PF members, i.e. cult members of the party as Exiled opined. After all has been said and done management in public entities that earn profit should NOT earn more than $5000. These are mere service providers and not producers. Next shocking revelations should target ZIMRA, ZESA, ZINARA, NASSA, NRZ, GMB, &etc. However, envelope journalism is now common in Zimbabwe such that we are not surprised to see some journalists like Matthew Takaona and other bloggers exonerating fat cats such as Cashbert Dube and Happyson Muchechetere.

Nkosi Mambo - 31 January 2014

Tru that. Ko iye Bob why is he not condemning this as well. Charamba abva ati zii, shame shame x100.

makarau - 31 January 2014

Zim people we need leadership now, let's take to the streets. Ko woza, mdc, zctu muri pi even student union organise and demonstrate

makarau - 31 January 2014

The higher the salaries and benefits the bigger & deeper the pot-holes in our streets. In Chitungwiza Makoni shopping center roads are now a nightmare. All road intersections in the town have deep gulleys. Learner drivers are now taught how to successfully drive around potholes rather than on which side one must drive on. It doesn't matter now , so long you arrive at your destination plus a wrecked suspension,bumpy ride headache and slashed tyres.

Kamutobvu - 4 February 2014

Well said makarau! We need action the time for talking is gone. Only we the people can bring about change. Zimbabweans weren't freed by these so called leaders, without us participating nothing would have happened, so lets do it again.

saundy - 4 February 2014

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