The “salary-gate” scandal in 2014 which was a result of the media’s exposure of the outrageous salaries earned by Zimbabwean politicians and parastatal bosses in Zimbabwe, led to a huge expectation that the Government would act quickly on corruption. While the Government didn’t fail the public as it capped the salary of the Government parastatal bosses at US$6,000 from over US$500,000 which was of course well received by the public, the country is still widely seen as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, with Transparency International’s latest corruption perceptions index ranking it at 157 out of 177 countries.
Although Zimbabwe has gotten over the hyperinflation and economic free-fall of several years ago, its economy is still quite delicate as it does not have its own currency but uses eight others as legal tenders. Despite being ranked 157 out of 177 corrupt countries, we think the salaries of top Zimbabwean Politicians don’t seem to be the reason since it appears to be”reasonable” and “realistic”, only if they are telling the truth. Many Zimbabweans have however doubted the truthfulness in the salaries of the politicians that were made known to the public considering the flashy and extravagant lifestyles which most of them live.
It is no longer news that most Zimbabwean Politicians own houses not only within the country but also outside the country. Now, the big question is, ‘how are they able to afford such expensive things if they claim to earn so little? If we compare their said earnings with the salaries of Politicians in other South African countries, we could say without any doubt that Zimbabwean Politicians seem to be the least. Nevertheless, it is not all about the amount drawn up as salaries by these Politicians, it’s about how well they are doing their jobs.
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According to reports, the performance of Members of Parliament has been heavily criticized, mostly because some had never uttered a word in debates while some others have not even made maiden speeches but still get their sitting allowances at the end of the day. Also, some members of parliament have been accused of not showing up more than 20 times in one month. We will leave you to say whether or not they are telling us the truth about their salary and also whether they are worth the pay. Read on to see the amount our politicians take home every month:
Based on reports, the salary of former Zimbabwean President Mugabe was made public on April 22, 2014. In the reports, Mugabe said that he earns U$ 4,000 per month.
The vice president earns U$ 3,000 monthly.
Ministers earn $3,000 monthly.
In response to the above, James Maridadi said that he smelt a rat because the meager earnings of these politicians did not tally with their opulent lifestyles. He went ahead to say “The salary schedules that we were recently shown shows that Ministers earn $3, 000, but some of the pictures of houses that they own shows that they are worth $20 million — and we are talking of ministers who live in three storey houses with several vehicles, so how does a Minister who earns $3,000 afford to construct such a house?” He also added that the obscene salaries that politicians take home is the first garbage that should be dealt with before order can return to the country.
legislators are supposed to be paid a US$1,400 basic salary per month, along with US$75 in sitting allowances and stipends for leadership positions or committee posts. It is important you note that the average basic monthly Government salary is between $296 – $400 for the average Zimbabwean who is able to get a job as unemployment has skyrocketed to over of 70%. Whether or not the government has the best interest of the citizens at heart is still not for us to say.
The President faced growing pressure to act following the public knowledge that Managers of Government-owned companies were said to earn more than $500,000 (£300,000) a month, a salary which was much more than the President’s monthly salary. Those who pocketed this money are the bosses who sat on boards, Chief Executives and Senior Managers of Zimbabwe’s 78 parastatals and state enterprises. Former President Mugabe limited the salaries of these bosses heading State-owned enterprises to a maximum of US$72,000 a year, or US$6,000 monthly including benefits.
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Zimbabwe is widely seen as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, with Transparency International’s latest corruption perceptions index ranking it at 157 out of 177 countries. But if change is to be seen, Politicians and all civil servants need to understand that they were put in place to serve and not to be served. They must embrace service to their country as their first priority and forget about their selfish interests. They must put the needs of the masses above their own needs.