Probe parastatals


EDITOR — The MDC calls on Parliament to urgently set up a commission of inquiry to probe all parastatals following the shocking disclosures of hefty allowances that Happison Muchechetere, the suspended ZBC chief executive is receiving while the State broadcasters’ employees have gone for over six months without salaries.

Zimbabwe has over 75 State-controlled public enterprises and nearly all are operating at a loss or are nearing collapse.

The decay at ZBC is a manifestation of the rot in most parastatals.

It is the MDC’s position that a Parliamentary inquiry should be established forthwith to investigate all State enterprises to stop the rot and ascertain how best they can be turned around; and put less burden on the already suffering taxpayer.

It is very worrying that senior managers at most State enterprises are getting hefty salaries and allowances while failing to turn around these parastatals into viable enterprises.

The same managers are hiding behind the lame and tired excuse of targeted restrictive measures yet it is apparent that corruption is at the centre of their decay.

ZBC, like most parastatals, has for years been mismanaged yet there are reports of massive looting and corruption at these enterprises by the board of directors and senior management who reward themselves obscene perks while workers go for months without salaries.

The benefits that Muchechetere was receiving with the blessing of the dismissed ZBC board vindicate the MDC’s position that there is rampant looting and corruption in most State enterprises and hence the call for investigation.

It is callous and regrettable that the ZBC board can afford to pay hefty salaries and allowances and purchase top-of-the-range vehicles for Muchechetere and senior managers while employees and their families are living in destitution and failing to pay rentals, medical and school fees.

The rot at ZBC is the highlight at most State parastatals such as Air Zimbabwe, National Railways of Zimbabwe, Zupco and the Cold Storage Company, where thousands of workers have gone for months without salaries while the senior management live in comfort getting benefits that do not even match of directors at blue chip and high turnover companies.

The MDC therefore reiterates its call for an urgent Parliamentary investigation into all State parastatals so that they are fully restructured, reorganised and become functional with an accountable management.

This exercise will restore the capacity of State enterprises to reliably service the public and provide goods and services for the benefit of the country and the creation of employment that millions of Zimbabweans are in need of.



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