Chinamasa, don't throw baby with bath water

EDITOR — From the frying pan into the fire — this is the adage one can use to describe the clumsy manner in which the Patrick Chinamasa-led committee on State enterprises handled salary rationalisation.

As a result, some parastatal and local authorities’ technical bosses are contemplating quitting and if that happens, this could spell disaster to the economy which is still tied hip, shoulders and head to the parastatals.

Estimates at some stage were that the parastatal sector accounts for about 45 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and while the just-announced measure is a noble one, the devil is in the details of implementation.

If it is true that most of the parastatal boards and actual bosses have not been consulted or engaged one on one, the exercise of unilaterally slashing people’s salaries and benefits that are subject to validly executed employment contracts could be null and void if challenged in courts of law as some are already contemplating doing.

Contracts of employment are a two-way process and may have been arrived at by duly constituted boards and board committees appointed in terms of specific Acts of Parliament, whose violation will be frowned at by the courts.

Claims for damages for loss of alternative opportunities emanating from this very exercise by the Chinamasa-led committee will cripple this government.

The seemingly unilateral cuts and heavy-handedness of the exercise by the committee which includes some of the hardliners and die-hards in this administration is likely to see us worse off.

We have watched with amazement the uneven treatment of parastatal boards by different ministers seemingly getting their instructions and authority from different sources yet they serve one administration.

For how does one justify the firing of one parastatal board and not the other if all were guilty of giving their chief executive officers (CEOs) obscene salaries which this committee has now recommended streamlining en-mass to their Cabinet colleagues?

Is it a matter of individual ministers’ wish to keep one board and get rid of the other?

Has the Chinamasa committee considered the different qualifications and skills that are required by each parastatal?

An engineer and an accountant or social scientist do not necessarily command the same salaries as CEOs.

And the degree or consequence of error on the economy are different so are the balance sheets they are managing and revenues they are generating etc.

It is intriguing to say the least, how simplistically the committee seems to have arrived at their conclusions.

Could it be that they lack experience of managing tuck shops and parastatals such that they have lumped everyone together?

Have we become a nation where matters of contractual confidentiality are non-existent?

Is this how the minister of Finance attracts investors by wantonly and publicly rearranging contracts without consultation?

With such people in charge of our ministries, we are doomed.

Kidzi

Comments (14)

whatever the case, no to obscene salaries......if they quit we are willing to take over from them after all some pple will become employed

kekule - 20 March 2014

Kudzi l think you are smart, don't let us think otherwise how many qualified Zimbabweans are out there.These high salaries are wrong PERIOD.Please me how an employee of the Plumtree city council earns 17000 USD in allowances. Technical or not this is just acceptable.What has the City of Harare got to show for such high pay cheques, ZERO.So u saying we must be held at ramsome because sombody has a PHD in Engineering, and deserves to earn 37000 USD mind you thats 370 000 RANDS.No way.No way in HELL

Roland Dube - 20 March 2014

zanu has always been known for destroying for it to start again. example will be the agricultural sector. this we are ready to destroy so that we start anew. let this guys go because whether they are there or not the situation will remain the saME.

see - 20 March 2014

Kudzi; uri dofo remwana. Cuthbert was earning in a month, more than the USA President earns in a year. No. These salaries are nothoing short of criminal. You obviously dont know what you are talking about. No brain drain if they leave. Good ridance to bad rubbish. They have demonstrated failure to perform.

James Moyo - 20 March 2014

If they want to quit, let them quit, in-fact they must payback overpaid salaries because the salaries they got are out of this world. How can a ceo of psmas, earn over $500 000.00 per month , while the subscribers are earning $200.00 to $500.00 per month. This is daylight robbery. Earn high figures from a high profit earning organization, not just to wait for incoming revenue , then it becomes your salary! The subscribers do not get service, and you go home a happy man! In-fact $6000.00 is too much. If you benefited kudzi ,zvapera. Zimbabwe is full of learned people. Workers come and workers go!

think - 20 March 2014

If they want to quit, let them quit, in-fact they must payback overpaid salaries because the salaries they got are out of this world. How can a ceo of psmas, earn over $500 000.00 per month , while the subscribers are earning $200.00 to $500.00 per month. This is daylight robbery. Earn high figures from a high profit earning organization, not just to wait for incoming revenue , then it becomes your salary! The subscribers do not get service, and you go home a happy man! In-fact $6000.00 is too much. If you benefited kudzi ,zvapera. Zimbabwe is full of learned people. Workers come and workers go!

think - 20 March 2014

Im 100% behind the author of this factual letter.You advanced good points mate. We shall see massive brain drain and the economy will collapse .

Mupfana weBikini - 20 March 2014

we do not pay lazy people for not doing their responsible duties. we can not pay people who actually do not do the job expected from them. zimbabwe is full of educated young ones who are full of vibrant ideas so if these culprits deem it necessary to quit doors are open. their subordinates are the real accountants, engineers, doctors, professors, so let them go and we pave way for those that we can put to improve. this brings in the aspect of competition not just rely on destroyers while innovative minds are there. it must be five years with a half year evaluation basis whether one is performing or not.

Dzvombi - 20 March 2014

Guys don't just agree.. the pay of most of these bosses is criminal period. Most of them are on acting basis...secondly, check the ZBC saga closely..its been said it was an issue before it became public.. remember Mr Charambas letter??don't forget too easily and agree on nonsense! Muchechetere is said to be a journalist not an administrator hence the confusion. Nobody will quit guys..nobody and don't be alarmists for nothing..do you think we cant live because so so are the bosses...don't go to work and see what happens....!Kamba haivharwi kana bodo...unless of course if the bosses were mismanaging which again is a crime...period

tondemu - 21 March 2014

If by some miracle all the guys who were running our parastatals and those running local authorities decided to quit the NATION would heave a huge sigh of relief this is a brain drain this country desperately needs..It is more like ridding itself of a tumour and this should be welcome news and MUSIC to many Zimbabweans..The question is how soon can we say goodbye to the whole sorry bunch?

gutter poet - 23 March 2014

Kidzi, Kidzi, Kidzi.....What the hell have you been smoking? What these guys have been doing is morally wrong. I think Chinamasa's committee should now send, as a matter of urgency, send in Auditors to verify those declared salaries. Me-thinks the majority of these CEOs actually understated the amounts they were giving themselves......All those who declared your 10 to 20 thousand dollars salaries could infact have been earning two to four times that!!!

Lokayi WaNkomponi - 24 March 2014

KKKKK Why dont you fire them and replace with your rural teachers and we watch after three years, Do you really think some one who was teaching 3 pin plug can come and design or trouble shoot a substation or run a power station some times people you just waffle, this is mere en-vie turn jealous of those succeeding working in the sectors problem is not salaries alone which most were distorted evidence from Sunday mail report by net one boss. The government seeks to divert attention from real issues affecting the economy. Your corruption, failures and ill policies after all the salaries were signed by government officials after board recommendations and even with further corrections from same government officials with the blessing of the ministers. Many which were Zanu PF. Correct your mess silently please not make it loud to divert attention from real problems. Jonathan Moyo is a strategist he knows when to touch and shift weak minds.

tawa - 25 March 2014

I doubt that a lot of these chaps attacking Kudzi are formally employed. They run tuckshops. If they were employed they would know that a CEO of a parastatal is an employee who cannot determine one's salary. A CEO can only negotiate. So why is everyone stbbing these CEOs with daggas as if they just walked into offices and wrote their own contracts?Further would you say the same emotional words if it was you earning such a salary? Don't you yourself want such a salary? Secondly an employee must have a legal employment document called a contract. Tuckshop store keepers do not need these contracts I suppose.

Sororebveni - 25 March 2014

Funny. The underlying matter in the parastatals saga is beyond salary caps. It goes beyond that. Issues of governance and lack of oversight are some of them...and blame is to these politicians who after being elected or nominated into office concentrated on inconsequential matters....We cannot celebrate arbitraly rule and arbitraly pronounciations as a way forward for any serious government. Some may celebrate this because it is not them affected...who knows what other arbitraly decision these commitees will make and who will be affected in return... The signs of dictatorial rule are ominous and there for all to see...the separation of powers is no longer respected...the judiciary, the executive and the legislature. Chinamasa has become all this. THIS is no reason to celebrate folks. It is a cheap victory with no constitutional basis If the Honourable Minister is to disrespect decisions made by other organs..then it means he has become a defacto PM. iT IS ACTUALLY MORE LOGICAL FOR GVT TO FIRE ALL BOARDS AND LEAVE THE DISCRETION ON THE DIRECTION OF STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES TO THE HONOURABLE MINISTER

mutapiriro - 25 March 2014

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