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Corporate incest at state media houses

THE Ministry of Information and Publicity has the following companies/parastatals under it — Zimpapers, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH), New Ziana, the Media and Information Commission, Transmedia, and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ). <

Justin Mutasa is the ZBH board chairman. He is also the group CEO of Zimpapers.

As a board chairman, he oversees the appointment, conditions of service and performance of the CEO.

When the CEOs of Zimpapers and ZBH are called to meet the line minister or made to appear before a parliamentary committee, they do so as peers.

Yet a fellow CEO is overseeing the appointment, conditions of service and performance of a peer.

Is the Ministry of Information and Publicity short of capable hands to fill the position of ZBH board chairman without necessarily burdening Mutasa, who is also chairman of the Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe Ltd, among other positions?

We have also witnessed a situation whereby Herald editor Pikirayi Deketeke is the acting chairman of BAZ.

The former executive chairman of ZBH, Rino Zhuwarara, was at one time a commissioner with the MIC, which decides the fate of other media houses and journalism practitioners.

Call it corporate incest!

It is not good corporate governance practice to have the same people in the various institutions under one ministry.

Get a list of board members of the above named institutions and you will be shocked by the cross board membership of people who are senior executives.

On a separate note, I am not sure if it’s the best decision to appoint a “content” person as CEO of a media house like what has happened at ZBH, where Henry Muradzikwa has been thrust in the position.

They tried it with Zhuwarara. It failed because a content person cannot spend his day attending to administrative, logistical and structural matters of a company.

If he is the excitable type, he will clash with the editor-in-chief of Newsnet and that will be tantamount to undue interference.



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