The Herald (Harare)

12 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Chimedza Hails Zimpapers Efforts

ZIMBABWE Newspapers (1980) Limited chairman Dr Paul Chimedza has commended the group for turning around its fortunes by recording a profit this year. The group had recorded a loss of US$3,5 million in 2011.

Speaking at the group's strategic planning workshop in Kadoma yesterday, Dr Chimedza said 2013 would be a year of growth. He implored management to justify their existence.

"There were a number of milestones in Zimpapers most importantly we managed to record a profit of US$360 000 in 2012 after posting a loss of US$3,2 million in 2011.

"However, a profit of US$360 000 is not considered a profit to us because of our size. We expect bigger profits and this year should be a year of growth," he said. Dr Chimedza said the group last year achieved a milestone by introducing a "new baby" Star FM Radio and being accessible on the internet and social media.

"Managers should lead in their unity and their performance will be measured as how successful they are as leaders. They need to ask themselves if Zimpapers is better off without them or better with them.

"If the answer is Zimpapers is better off without them they should do the honourable thing and leave.

"Each and every one should justify their presence in Zimpapers and there is no room to carry passengers."

Dr Chimedza congratulated Zimpapers Harare branch for posting a US$3,5 million profit and the Bulawayo Branch for reducing their losses. He urged Natprint to emulate the other branches.

Dr Chimedza said the Zimpapers board would support management in their quest for growth and provide resources.

"We will sink and swim together. We are playing in the same team as the Zimpapers family," he said.

Chief executive Mr Justin Mutasa said the group was set to benefit in economies of scale following the introduction of a new and large printing press.

"We have invested in new machinery for the group which will be able to do more colour work.

"This year is a year of growth as evidenced by the theme of th workshop; 'Consolidate business and growth'," he said. Mr Mutasa said Zimpapers was working towards a fully fledged and viable media house.

He said the group was hoping to have its own television station by 2014. Mr Mutasa said the group was waiting for Government to call on applications.

On Star FM he said: "So far we have not done badly. We are now expecting more advertisers to come on board, but I think we are happy on the performance to date."

He expressed hope that Star FM radio would be accessible to all Zimbabweans by the end of the first quarter.

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