25 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Pirate Radio Station Faces Collapse

NETHERLANDS-based pirate radio station Voice of the People is in turmoil with its employees going for six months without salaries. VOP is among foreign-based pirate radio stations broadcasting hate speech into Zimbabwe and is an outstanding issue in the Global Political Agreement, with Zanu-PF demanding its closure. Documents in The Herald's possession point to the imminent collapse of the radio station.

Journalists working for the pirate radio station have since written to board chairman Mr Nhlanhla Ngwenya demanding his immediate resignation and blaming his administration for the difficulties the radio is facing. Reads the letter: " This letter serves to confirm recent developments regarding salaries and communication conveyed by the Director Mr John Masuku. Mr Masuku and yourself in the past conveyed that salaries would be prioritised once the OSI funding has been effected.

"This followed a period of up to six months after the entire South Africa staff went unpaid with also unco-ordinated communication system. The entire staff was of the view that since the OSI funding would meet all salaries owed as indicated by the director and the chairperson, it would be a normal thing for each staff member to be remunerated in full.

"The salaries deposited by Mr Masuku with or without your consent serves as nothing but an insult."

The journalists criticised management for incompetence and urged the board chairperson Mr Ngwenya to step down. "It is clear that both the chairperson and the director have failed to demonstrate even the very minimal leadership qualities."

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