AS the salaries scandal in Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped parastatals deepens, the Financial Gazette can reveal that Dennis Magaya, a business strategy consultant who was controversially appointed by State-owned ZESA Holdings’ subsidiary Powertel Communications in 2012, is earning a monthly salary of about US$44 000.
This comes at a time when workers at the company are grappling with low salaries, with peers in other ZESA units earning far less than what Magaya is taking home.
Documents seen by this newspaper indicate that the government-owned internet services provider engaged Magaya on a fixed-term contract which commenced on September 1, 2012. The contract will run up to August 31, 2015.Magaya is currently pocketing a monthly salary of US$25 176,64 plus a bonus of US$18 610,12 which translates into an annual amount of US$528 000. He is entitled to this package up to August this year, and will be eligible to an upward review that could run up to the end of his contract.
Previously, Magaya was earning a monthly salary of US$26 000 and a bonus of US$13 140,59 under phase one of his contract which ran from September 1, 2012 to August 31, 2013.
Phase two of the contract, which runs from September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2015, will see Magaya earning a monthly salary of US$24 145,01 and a monthly bonus of US$20 231. The contract is currently in phase two.
Magaya was engaged by the company to implement a five-year business plan he drafted for Powertel through his company, Rubiem Technologies.
Sources with intimate knowledge of what transpired said Magaya’s appointment was fast tracked by ZESA’s group chief executive officer, Josh Chifamba, and board chairman Francis Chirimuuta, in clear defiance of a State Procurement Board (SPB) resolution that had rebuffed the appointment of Rubiem Technologies.
To avoid conflict of interest, SPB said Magaya and his company could not take part in the implementation of the strategic plan which he had drafted.After SPB turned down the power utility’s request to engage Rubiem Technologies, ZESA decided to engage Magaya in his individual capacity, arguing that its subsidiary would generate millions of dollars in revenue through the provision of data carrier, mobile internet and connectivity services through his assistance.
His appointment sucked in former finance director, Warner Mtisi, who doubled up as the company secretary. Mtisi was fired two days prior to Magaya signing his contract on September 7, 2012 after he resisted the move to appoint Magaya on such a hefty package.
Former managing director, Samuel Maminimini was also sacked after he questioned some irregularities on the issue.
It is, however, understood that Mtisi has since won his case at the labour court although Chifamba is said to have appealed against the court ruling.
Magaya, who was in South Africa when contacted by the Financial Gazette on Tuesday, was unwilling to discuss the issue, saying the managing director, Patrick Chivaura, was well-placed to do so.
“I can’t comment on the issue now,” said Magaya. “Give me a call in 30 minutes or you can contact the managing director (Chivaura) for more details.”
No comment could be obtained from Chivaura as he was said to be in a meeting.
The Financial Gazette could not immediately establish how much the managing director was earning as efforts to get clarification on the issue were fruitless.
Some sources, however, said Chivaura was taking home around US$4 500 per month.
The rot at the institution comes after senior executives at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), the Premier Services Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) and the Harare City Council have been exposed for earning mega salaries of between US$36 000 and US$230 000 per month.
PSMAS chief executive officer Cuthbert Dube, who has been retired, and ZBC boss Happison Muchechetere, who has been suspended, earned about US$230 000 and US$40 000 per month respectively.
When benefits are factored in, Dube earned half a million dollars every month.
Dube received allowances equivalent to his monthly basic salary of US$230 000 plus a bonus of over US$1 million in December 2013.
The Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services, Jonathan Moyo is understood to have written to Muchechetere and ZBC’s Elliot Kasu (general manager-finance and administration) advising them of the termination of their salaries and benefits.
State enterprises are being systematically looted by executives allegedly conniving with senior government officials while the economy stagnates.
Audited financial records of parastatals have not been made public on time as enshrined in the Constitution. When they are made available, they are always years behind.