Massive purge at ZBH

Shakeman Mugari



A MASSIVE purging of staff is going on at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) in a bid to clean up what are seen as undesirable elements. <
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Sources say a senior army officer will be appointed to take over as chief executive of the troubled national broadcaster under a new structure announced three weeks ago by the late Information minister Tichaona Jokonya.


The names of Brigadier-General Sibusiso Moyo and current managing director of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), Air Commodore Michael Karakadzai, are being touted as possible candidates for the CEO’s post.


Retired and serving army officers are already running parastatals, other government-owned companies and state departments as part of President Robert Mugabe’s militarisation of public institutions. Observers have said militarisation comes about as government paranoia increases due to national discontent over the country’s governance.


The new chief executive is expected to be announced next week to coincide with the appointment of a new board of directors. Sources say the new board is likely to be chaired by current Zimpapers chief executive Justin Mutasa who was vice chairman of the board dissolved by Jokonya.


Already there was involvement of the army through Major-General Engelbert Rugeje who was chairman of Radio Zimbabwe under the ZBH board dissolved by Jokonya two weeks ago.


“It is part of the militarisation which has been going on but the other main reason is that under Rino Zhuwarara’s tenure as chairman there was chaos,” said a source. “Zhuwarara did not have the respect of his managers.


“There were cases of sabotage, sexual harassment and insubordination. Even now there is confusion.”


The source said the nine chief executives of the nine companies that came out of the unbundled ZBC during the controversial restructuring under former Information minister Jonathan Moyo have been told to either resign or reapply.


Others have been offered jobs at the Ministry of Information and Publicity.


Christopher Chivinge and Tazzen Mandizvidza who currently occupy the same position of editor-in-chief of Newsnet are among the heads that are understood to have been offered posts in the Information ministry.


There is currently confusion as to who is in charge at Newsnet between Chivinge and Mandizvidza.


Sources said former broadcasters who left ZBC during the 2003 restructuring and retrenchments altogether would replace those either posted to the ministry or forced to resign.


A source said ministry officials have since approached former broadcaster Happison Muchechetere, retrenched three years ago, to head the troubled ZTV which is currently in the red and failing to pay its employees.