Itai Mushekwe/Bridget Sibanda
JOURNALISTS at news agency, New Ziana, have sought the intervention of Vice-President Joice Mujuru to address an array of grievances, which include low salaries and poor working conditions.
Sources this week said the disgruntl
ed journalists had written to Mujuru as management at New Ziana appeared insensitive to their plight.
“Journalists at New Ziana have since written to Vice-President Joice Mujuru, seeking her intervention so as to restore sanity at the organisation. The news organisation is in serious financial trouble and is struggling to foot electricity, water and internet bills for its Harare operations together with expenditure incurred by its provincial newspapers,” sources said.
The sources added that although Mujuru was yet to respond, the “protest letter” had been copied to Information minister Tichaona Jokonya who was said to have met President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday to brief him on a wide range of media issues including problems at New Ziana.
Policy Implementation minister Webster Shamu had also been given a copy of the letter.Contacted for comment, Jokonya said he had not received the letter as all correspondence with the ministry must pass through the permanent secretary, George Charamba.
Jokonya also denied claims that he met Mugabe on Tuesday to discuss the New Ziana issue.
“I am not aware of the meeting that you are talking about,” said Jokonya.
“Why should I talk to the president about New Ziana when I am the minister responsible? I have also not received the letter. It has not been brought to my attention.
“We’re very sympathetic to the staff situation at New Ziana,” Jokonya added.
Jokonya said he was still waiting to be briefed on the goings-on at the state news agency by the organisation’s chief executive officer, Munyaradzi Matanyaire. The journalists accused Matanyaire of “misrepresenting what is happening at the organisation to the minister to buy time and save his job”.