Ghost workers at ZBC

HARARE - Top executives at the scandal-ridden Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) allegedly used at least 400 ghost workers to fleece the loss-making parastatal of millions of dollars in salaries, the Daily News has learnt.

Among the ghost workers are two wives of senior bosses at ZBC who reportedly appear on the salary schedules as station managers for the Mbare and Pockets Hill studios.

Also on the list of ghost employees are dead people and some who either resigned or were fired years ago.

Insiders at the broadcaster told the Daily News that this was revealed at a meeting between workers and the broadcaster’s editor-in-chief Tazzen Mandizvidza yesterday.

“We were told that there is no money to pay us our outstanding salaries. It also emerged from the meeting that there were 400 ghost workers at ZBC,” an insider said.

“Of the 400 ghost workers, we discovered that the wives of two top employees were also paid monthly salaries,” said the insider.

Another senior ZBC employee said: “This is so unfair. We haven’t been paid for the last seven months when the bosses are busy paying their wives who are not employed here.”

Suspended chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere, could not be reached for a comment yesterday as his mobile phone was unreachable but ZBC spokesperson Sivukile Simango confirmed that the meeting took place.

“A meeting was indeed held to discuss our financial issues and if I am not mistaken it did not last for more than five minutes. I am not aware that the ghost workers issue was discussed. Maybe you saw the audit report and you are the one who can tell me what is in it. As for me, I am not privy to the ghost workers issue,” said Simango before referring the paper to the acting chief executive Allan Chiweshe.

Chiweshe could not immediately comment as he was said to be locked up in meetings.

Efforts to get a comment from Information minister Jonathan and his deputy Supa Mandiwanzira proved futile as their mobile phones were unreachable.

The latest revelations of the sordid details at the state broadcaster is a tip of the iceberg as it emerged sometime last month that Muchechetere was earning a $40 000 a month in salaries and allowances.

Mandiwanzira revealed last month that ZBH management including Muchechetere were earning astronomical salaries at a time workers were not being paid.

“It is quite shocking that for instance the CEO earns $27 000 plus, over and above that earns $3 000 in allowances for housing, $2 500 allowance, $3 000 for home entertainment, unlimited business entertainment allowance.

The corporation must pay off his mortgage facility, must built a durawall (security wall), must built an entertainment section at his premises,”Mandiwanzira said.

Mandiwanzira also revealed that the ZBC boss was entitled to unlimited fuel per week, substantial amounts for his domestic workers, unlimited air tickets to fly in the country with his immediate family among other unbelievable perks for a loss making entity.

Muchechetere, who became substantive chief executive in May 2009, has drawn salaries and allowances approximated at $2,28 million to date.

He was recently sent on forced leave to pave way for a forensic audit to be undertaken after Moyo dissolved the board led by Cuthbert Dube.

The board had failed to submit a turnaround strategy document within the 14 days which had been requested by the minister.

Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, George Charamba, this month told a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Broadcasting Services that at least 500 workers at the ZBC will be retrenched in a restructuring exercise meant to turnaround the public broadcaster that is saddled with a $44,3 million debt which is to be assumed by Government.

It appears that apparently the “retrenchment” announced by Charamba could mean the removal of ghost workers from the broadcaster’s payroll.

The corporation is technically insolvent as it is realising only $275 000 per month in revenue against a budget of $2,3 million of which $1,6 million should go to workers’ salaries.

Additionally, the company is in arrears of $8,3 million owed to the workers for outstanding salaries, while it also has to meet some statutory obligations.

Comments (31)

Webster Shamu and George Charamba must be held accountable for this. Unfortunately Gushungo will protect them. But truly one day ZANUPF will leave power. These are issues which will need to be investigated.

Gushungo - 31 December 2013

People who have it in their power to do the right thing and do not are the worst kind of human there is. Especially when the welfare of the nation is at stake. They watch everything falling apart and don't lift a finger while the general population is dying in poverty and filth. They rig elections to stay in power because God may have a worse fate for them than just losing an election.

Funga Futi - 31 December 2013

Ndezveikoko. 400 ghost workers. Rambai makashinga pliz!!!

Mudhiniwe - 31 December 2013

We also have a ghost government, by the way!

Feldman Bandura - 31 December 2013

This is what happens when a country has President who spends 90% of his time sleeping and snoring his head off.

Squarebasher - 31 December 2013

If Mugabe is serious all top guys at ZBC must go and they start with a new team with a proper salary structure. These can just be fired for abuse of office with no benefits meaning ZBC does not lose anything.

Maita Manyuka - 31 December 2013

Ko ka Sivukile Simango kanoti the meeting lasted 5 minutes what type of a meeting was that. These type of spokespersons are just salary earners else she must also be counted kuma ghost workers because it seems she is a ghost worker anotoshanda somewhere else saka asingazive kuti kwakaitwa meeting.

Maita Manyuka - 31 December 2013

Thats the kind of Mugabe empowerment, go and check with the Army as well there are so many ghost workers, check every government department. That's what they defend Mugabe because they know that Mugabe doesnt really care about whats happening anywhere as long he is the president, he doesnt question anything. That what comrade like J Tongo died for, this are the very issues that Mukanya sang about. Thats the Zimbabwe you want, with an in incompetent president.

S Makwati - 31 December 2013

This is empowerment par excellence!! Did l hear someone say ZIMASSET?? Do we have people who work at all at ZBC or we just have idiots who sit on such serious fraud until there is a change of government/ minister. To think of it, the song has been 'our enemies are plotting our demise.......really?

McAaron - 31 December 2013

That is the reason why i dnt pay my radio and tv lixenc3

zimbabwean - 31 December 2013

The money taken should be paid back and those responsible face justice if Mugabe is serious about setting the record straight.

Ziziharinanyanga - 31 December 2013

What is happening at ZBC is very common in all the parastatals in Zimbabwe. I suggest that all the parastatals should be audited if the country is to survive for the next five years.

Sekuru Chakuchichi Botaremhunga - 31 December 2013

so how many gost workers in all the parastatals combined?

igwe - 31 December 2013

@gushungo.its not just shamu and charamba or muchechetere,the buck stops at mugabe.he`s overally in charge.but because his management is very very poor,there are no systems in place,no checks and balances,no audit and perfomance reports at all.the situation is the same in all ministries,that is why there is massive looting and a general deterioration of living standards.ITS ALL MUGABE`S FAULT

bmash - 1 January 2014

The problem is that everyone is corrupt at ZBC. how does one explain the workers going to work without salary for almost 6 months. where were the workers getting the money to subsdise ZBC when they were not being paid and yet still continue going to work. its either they were making deals for survival at ZBC.

wezhara - 1 January 2014

This reporter should tell us the total staff compliment for ZBC, i dont think ZBC employeed more than 2000 people that even an HR clerk will fail to detect the ghost employees on the payroll. Lets have facts Mr Reporter, i am not denying the existance of Ghost employees but i am questioning 400 Ghost employees for an organisation of a size of ZBC i dont think its accurate reporting. Besides you are qouting some faceless witness, have you verified facts with HR and people with facts. I thin we need better reporting.

Dodo - 1 January 2014

While we appreciate the Min of Information's move to restore sanity at the troubled institution, sending Muchechetere on forced leave with benefits does not make sense, he was supposed to go on unpaid leave 'akadya zvakakwana.' The Minister was supposed to fire Muchechetere's entire management team from Managers upwards, these guys were and remain part of the 'gravy train.' The former Minister (Shamu) and Perm Sec (Charamba) should be held accountable they are the people who presided over this nonsense. Pay the people and pay them now and stop making excuses!!!

MwanaWaMambo - 1 January 2014

For how long has the ghost workers been employed? Surely the government knew that ghost workers were there. The only answer is GOD INTERVENTION.

Solomon Zulu - 1 January 2014

LORD have mercy on us (Zimbabweans).

Cde - 1 January 2014

i think its true because vakomana vakaiswa muRoad vachibatsirwa nemapurisa kuti titenge car radio license vakawanda kunge nhunzi, ende license handitengi nyangwe zbc ikaita zvekudini.

mashotopiyana - 1 January 2014

if we continue with this i do not care attitude when appointed to a bigger post like ceo, we are not hearding anywhere i tell you

cephas havurovi - 2 January 2014

mashona for you. busani sibone magovu

fanekhaya - 2 January 2014

Zanu ndiyo yakauraya kambani.Isusu takazongoipedzisa chete

R Nyambudzi - 2 January 2014

yotambika patwn

Zizoo - 2 January 2014

A few years ago there was a government audit of all employees. There sults were shocking. What happenned? NOTHING! This country is going NOWHERE with ZPF in power.

Johno - 2 January 2014

Fellow countrymen, where do you think ZANU PF get's its funds to run the party and pay employees? It comes from these parastatals, all these said ghost workers are indeed party comrades. What we are seeing is just fight between the camps. Mnagagwa now controls ZBC and wants to see all Mujuru ghost workers gone. Look what has happened at Allied. It's just a game being played here, nothing will change.

samhu - 2 January 2014

zvipoko

mwanawevhu - 3 January 2014

this country is not safe at all.we need the almighty only, ko chaka enderwa kuhondo chacho chii if we can leave in fear all the time. mwari pindiraiwo purizi zvanyanyaaaa

yello - 3 January 2014

Tirikudiridza rugare rwavamwe nemisodzi yedu these things are like in farms where a foreman get alot to force other to work for nothing thats nothing to do LACK OF FOLLOWUP IN ZIMBABWE

chibidi a - 4 January 2014

This regime is not concerned about corruption. What happened to the Masimirembwa $6m diamond saga. Was it eventually discovered it was touching the very top like the Savanah cigarets smuggling?

Watch Man - 6 January 2014

ngazvingovharwa kani tongoona iwo maWistech zvaramba izvi

phineas - 8 January 2014

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