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Arrest Muchechetere
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
December 11, 2013

The Combined Harare Residents Association is deeply shocked at the levels of “looting” exposed at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). Over the years, residents have always complained of poor quality programming and partisan reporting being done by the national broadcaster. Further to that, we learn through the media that workers at the ZBC have gone for six months without pay whilst top management, in particular the Chief Executive Officer Mr Happison Muchechetere walked away with his astronomic bounty salary of more than US$35,000. We understand that government does not pay civil servants more than $2000 in basic pay but we remain stunned as to where the C.E.O was financing his salary. Logically speaking, we connect the recent operations by ZBC which forces motorists and domestic television and radio owners to buy radio and T.V licences so that individuals like Muchechetere can gallivant around the world with their families whilst the rest of Zimbabweans enjoy old Chinese movies and repeated programs week in and week out.

The rot unraveled at the public broadcaster is only but a piece of an iceberg for many state owned corporates and other local authorities that are failing to deliver quality services because of this issue of mega-salaries being paid to top management whilst workers wallow in poverty. The ZBC scandal should be used to set the tone in terms of whipping off the rot of unethical and corrupt practices in all public enterprises. Early this year CHRA warned of collapsing service delivery in Harare as being a result of mega-salaries being paid top officials and also demanded to know how much each director is pocketing home as a display of accountability and transparency. Comparative local governance systems indicate that in other countries which have applied best practices, when a public office job is advertised, the salary component is added on as a foot note for the public to scrutinise and know how much they are funding for the respective job posting hence the same should happen in Zimbabwe. We will take forever to improve our public sector as long as we don’t abide by the salient tenets of good and corporate governance in public management. Many deals to date that are funded by the tax payers’ money continue to be done in secrecy and the tendering process remains a shame while the delivery of the services is always pathetic. It can only be such practice which has landed Zimbabwe on 157th position out of 177 countries on the corruption perception index with only 21 points out of 100.

Going forward, we demand that this case be forwarded to the anti-corruption commission for further investigation whilst we simultaneously applause the Ministry of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services for instigating a forensic audit. We would like to urge the Ministry to make public its findings and take stern action against Happison Muchechetere who has proved to be a heartless individual who does not understand the essence of “serving” and “patriotism” in the discharge of his duties at the ZBC. In short Happison Muchechetere must simply be a public example; he must be arrested for looting.

The list of Muchechetere’s loot is broken down as follows:

  • Salary: $27 000 per month
  • Housing allowance: $3 500 per month
  • Domestic workers’ salaries: $2 500 per month
  • Entertainment allowance: $3 000 per month
  • General allowance: $3 000 per month
  • Fuel allocation: unlimited per month
  • Vacation: five business class air tickets annually
  • Three regional business class air tickets annually and unlimited local air travel
  • Additional package: ZBC servicing his mortgage
  • Construct an entertainment centre at his house
  • Construct a security wall.

CHRA remains committed to advocating for good, accountable and transparent local governance.

Visit the CHRA fact sheet

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