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Funding crisis hits Ziana

Itai Dzamara

INFORMATION minister Jonathan Moyo’s efforts at restructuring New Ziana are faltering due to lack of funding.

sans-serif”>The project, which was mooted by Moyo last year to complement the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) in spreading government’s message, needs in excess of $10 billion to become operational.

An electronic division was established at New Ziana last year, in addition to the existing Community Newspapers and news agency divisions.

Moyo planned to transfer two radio stations from ZBC to New Ziana’s electronic division as part of the restructuring exercise aimed at revamping the news agency.

Documents in the possession of the Zimbabwe Independent show that New Ziana management last year came up with a budget requirement of $10 billion for the restructuring exercise.

However, the Information and Publicity Department in the President’s office only allocated $510 million from last year’s budget to Moyo’s threatened project. The New Ziana management gobbled up $350 million of the allocation on luxury vehicles and fridges for the heads of departments.

The launch of New Ziana, which had been set for last month, was postponed because of lack of equipment as well as personnel for the envisaged restructuring.

New Ziana last month ran advertisements for several positions in the electronic and news agency departments, but the recruitment exercise had to be postponed because of lack of funds.

Moyo is understood to have expected an allocation for New Ziana from Finance minister Herbert Murerwa in the supplementary budget announced last month. But Murerwa didn’t propose anything for New Ziana in his $672 billion budget.

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