INFORMATION Minister Jonathan Moyo last Thursday took a swipe at the loss-making Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) for demanding more State funding while producing atrocious programmes which are being shunned by viewers.
Addressing members of the Bulawayo Press Club, Moyo also defended the recent cut in staff salaries at the insolvent public broadcaster.
"ZBC is producing content nobody is watching but the workers want to be paid. Where do you expect the government to get the money to pay you when the company's monthly revenue collection does not tally with its astronomical salary bill," said Moyo.
The minister was responding to a question from a ZBC staffer who had expressed concern over the chopping of the workers' salaries.
ZBC's monthly revenues were early this year revealed to top US$275,000 per month against a budget of US$2,3 million of which US$1,6 million should go to salaries.
The corporation, shunned by viewers and advertisers for poor programme quality, was said to be saddled with debts of up to $44 million.
Ordinary workers were said to have gone for six months without salaries last year forcing the government to intervene by paying the backdated wages.
Moyo said the public broadcaster was failing to discharge its mandate as enshrined in the Broadcasting Services Act.
"The government cannot reward you for not discharging your mandate. Do you still have public interest? First discharge your mandate before demanding rewards," said Moyo.
The minister also blasted the public broadcaster for continuing airing political jingles.
"Time has changed. You cannot continue airing jingles such as Hondo Yeminda and Dai Kuri Kwedu Machembere adverts," said the Zanu PF politburo member.