Muchechetere in fresh cash scandal

HARARE - Suspended Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere, who stands accused of plundering the bankrupt broadcaster through obscene salaries and allowances, reportedly paid himself $90 000 in yearly bonuses.

Between 2009 and 2012, according to a salary schedule seen by the Daily News on Sunday, ZBC ran a payroll of over $900 000 a month, with the rest of the workers taking home $600 000 while Muchechetere and his colleagues took the remainder after salary increments.

Documents seen by this paper show that the increments were done without the approval of the board while Muchechetere illegally approved salaries for his managers.

The documents also show that Muchechetere’s huge salary and allowances were approved by fired board chairman Cuthbert Dube.

The salary schedule indicates that Muchechetere was personally taking home $22 500 per quarter in bonuses, although ZBC never made any money to sustain the bonus payments for the CEO.

This was 12,5 percent of his annual basic salary. Muchechetere’s quarterly bonuses came at a time ZBC was wallowing in a $40 million debt and was failing to pay workers.

What has alarmed government is that like in the case of ZBC, top managers at State-controlled public enterprises, in connivance with their different boards awarded themselves huge allowances inflated to make up for their lower salaries.

This meant the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) lost revenue in terms of Pay As You Earn (Paye) and indications are that the revenue authority is now investigating the tax evasion scandal.

Information minister, Jonathan Moyo was forced to dismiss the entire ZBC board and send Muchechetere on forced leave after he failed to draft a turnaround strategy for the corporation.

Muchechetere was reportedly taking home a package of up to $40 000 from a company whose monthly revenues top $275 000 per month, against a budget of $2,3 million of which about $1 million should go to salaries.

In a bid to bring sanity to the State broadcaster’s salary wage bill, government slashed the salaries of employees saying the wage bill was not sustainable.

Salaries for all employees were reverted back to those approved by the ZBC board in 2010, with Moyo arguing the current salaries had been single-handedly approved by embattled former board chairperson Dube without the knowledge of the full board.

Acres of newspaper space have been filled with details of how Muchechetere, and three others in the public broadcaster’s top echelons, received housing loans of about $200 000 each along with various other generous hefty allowances.

Our sister paper, the Daily News, earlier revealed that the suspended ZBC boss was embroiled in a messy $1 million scandal in which he allegedly inflated the purchase price of a radio Outside Broadcasting (OB) van from a Chinese firm.

The State broadcaster entered into an agreement with China National Instruments Imports and Exports Corporation (Instrimpex) for the purchase of the OB Van worth $100 000 and $200 000 on the real market.

The figure was, however, allegedly inflated to $1 050 000 by Muchechetere in alleged connivance with Instrimpex officials.

As the scandals rock State-controlled enterprises, the following has emerged; several State enterprises have no boards in place, some boards are not meeting at all and other boards lack the necessary skills.

Boards are often deliberately raising salaries of CEOs because the level of their allowances is linked to the CEOs salaries

There is no systematic board members’ selection and training, as a result of which most board members are not sufficiently equipped to effectively carry out their duties.
There have been calls for a commission of inquiry to look into the scandals at the loss making State enterprises.

Most of the scandals are said to occur in the procurement departments where invoices are inflated to astronomical levels.

“There is clear connivance between heads of parastatals, boards and the private to steal money through inflating invoices.

“A case in point is the ZBC issue where an OB van for $100 000 was invoiced for $1 million. This is rampant in most parastatals,” said the source.

Comments (16)

And George Charamba knew all this, but thought because we were nearing elections, Happison was to be left alone to do what he pleases because he knew he would tilt the play field in favour of Robert Mugabe.

Mike Hove - 9 February 2014

I have no comments but just to say, surely nyika yotongwa neCorruption throughout here veduwee? Which organisation is running straight in the country if l may ask? The whole system requires a complete overhaul...

Kauchy - 10 February 2014

I don't understand your (Daily News) tone these days. It's like you are no longer very critical of the Zanu PF government. You talk about "what has alarmed government" as if they didn't know or are against such corruption, when you know full well that such corruption and nation-destroying activities have been going on for decades, under this very government, which never prosecutes a Zanu PF crook. Remember the GMB scandal in the '90s? And many more we can't mention! And you say "alarmed government", my foot!

The Watcher - 10 February 2014

THE WICKED WILL BE EXPOSED

mbambaira - 10 February 2014

Really yeah! Why? Such a stance, apologetic, nowadays e-eh? Because, really really why act surprised today? Is theft with impunity not the DNA yemacomrades, nevana vacho. Tell me, is this the first of such stories? -I was still at primary school during the days of Willowgate, then a lot not being very much of said during the ESAP and Kanda Bongoman and drought, yet very questionable, then the Darwendale housing scheme and skandal wherein the current police supremo, gangaster Chihuri may have a lot to say if ever a commission be set up to dig dipper even with chikowore underground. How about the foreign funded DDF? Did not Margaret spell it out in a well annotated and labelled diagram? What did the president of state do? or at least say? When taking over the country back then in 1979/1980 was not the AFC viable and capable. How many bailouts from state coffers has the eversince defunct Agribank been able to account for. Why tichiridza mabhosvo nekanyaya kaHappie uyu sekunonzi makanzura avo ivo maMDC acho haana huori? Zvimwechete! In my opinion the colonialist is a better partner in my history, having done the Harare our pride, the Birchnough bridge across krokodillic Save, and Kariba to illuminate Mkwasine. This is in comparison to the comrades who in 30yrs have stalled out of national plans the railway to link Chiredzi and Mutare. We need colonial capital to improve the quality and standard of life of the simplest descendent of the formally called native. The orient serves no purpose except to entrench the uncompetitiveness of local industry on the local market scene and abroad. Macomrades by their nature havakendenge as long as they get across over the Limpopo duty free.

maombo david - 10 February 2014

ACCA video lectures 0772104011 . m better i give pple education not stealing

Bambo - 10 February 2014

Good reading indeed every culprit must be exposed. Remember 2008 during operation dzikisa mutengo command economy, Cold Storage Company was made the sole buyer of slaughter cattle by Obert Mpofu. Cattle were forced from private abattoirs at gunpoint.C.S.C enjoyed the booty. They never got off ground.Kutuka mabhunu never helped. Today they are no match even to beef committees. C.S.C is all but dead. Recently the slaughtered cattle from Botswana, no respite. Some people at C.S.C. is doing a Cuthbert or Muchechetere .Extend the purge, name,shame, arrest,imprison. Zimbabwe may be abetter home. You will be surprised the worst looter make the most noise about non existing sanctions

BEN BEN - 10 February 2014

The problem is us Zimbos. We allow urselves to be hoodwinkied into beleiving the Sancions And never Be A Colony Again Jazz music and play to it while our economy the very future of our next generation is being looted left right and centre by the very people who penned the Jazz music. Zvinotoda kutangidza patsva izvi.

mambo - 11 February 2014

FOR SALE HP TONER CARTRIDGES 05A,06,10A,11A,12A,13A,15A,24A,35A,36A,53A,64A,78A,85A,AND MANYMORE CALL 0772 678 311

cartridgegallery - 11 February 2014

All those engaged in this corruption and are even helping to make noise against those who have been caught the curtain is coming down on you. Some of you you will be destroyed by no-one except the money you stole. As you gallavant,eat while others are starving you must know that you are grieving the Almighty...better repent before its too late. Its easy for you to find yourself out of that mansion and in a very dark,small prison cell. Vanezheve ngavanzwe.

Muprofita - 11 February 2014

ahaa batai munhu VaChihuri ndoravo chairo chairo More leaders shud b like our Commissioner General Chihuri hes better than the rest

protestor - 11 February 2014

Embiciles like a certain cde Mzvinavhu who I prefered to call Mzvinambavha for obvious reasons, are neatly tucked away under their rocks now. We told them many times that they belong to a thieving party and we were all out to stop them- the shameless crooks.

Stop-a-Thief - 12 February 2014

Zvino dai leadership yacho yavamuchechetere yakazoita transform quality ye ZTV zvaive nani, dull leadership basa kungoita loot chete?!, Zimbo leaders lets wake up and serve our country like true citizens. Mwari ngavatibatsire

Netsi - 12 February 2014

Stop this mess! We buy from the same shops, garages and eat almost same food. Why are you guys paying yoselfs as if you live in a different world.

think - 13 February 2014

PAMBERI NE ZANU PFU. PASI NE VATEGESI

MARIYAWANDA DUBE - 13 February 2014

This rot should stop & our government should show the mass that it is very serious about corruption , these jackals must be incarcerated nokuti vanga vasina tsisti nevamwe vashandi.

shadmore muzerera - 17 February 2014

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