27 December 2018

Zimbabwe: Parliament Takes ZBC Managers to Task Over 'Sacking' of Senior Staff

Parliament's Information and Broadcasting committee has demanded to know why ZBC was allegedly sacking some qualified of its senior staffers and replacing them with unqualified ones.

The committee recently ordered ZBC CEO Patrick Mavhura and board chair Father Gibson Munyoro to bring in answers when they next appear before it early next year.

The two were supposed to give oral evidence before the committee last week on the on-goings at the State-owned broadcaster with some "irregularities" having been noted at ZBC's TV and Radio stations, according to committee members.

Among some of its concerns, the committee wants clear answers on the way underfire ZBC head of news and current affairs Tazzen Mandizvidza's case was being handled by the broadcaster's managers.

"Give us an insight on the way you are dealing with Tazzen Mandizvidza. Also tell us how you joined ZBC. Why are you getting rid of some senior staff," one of the members asked Mavhura.

Mandizvidza, who is on suspension, was recently served with summons to state why he was failing to reimburse more than US$1 million he allegedly "looted" from the company.

He is also in the eye of the storm for writing to President Emmerson Mnangagwa seeking his intervention into what he finds as unfair treatment by his employer.

MDC legislator and committee member, Settlement Chikwinya said the ZBC managers should also bring CVs of board members, salary, organogram of both ZTV and radio staff as well as qualifications required for the highest and lowest positions at the corporation.

Committee chair, Prince Sibanda questioned why the broadcaster has only one reporter in some provinces and yet it was recently said to have denied any budget allocation from government while failing to pay outstanding salaries.

Another MP, Brian Dube demanded some improvement in ZBC's programming.

"We want you to improve on the programming of the television side. The programming is poor and we see many Zimbabweans have switched to the popular DSTV which attracts foreign currency but many cannot afford," he said.

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