Review ZBC employee salaries

HARARE - Measures being taken to bring sanity to scandal-ridden Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) spearheaded by Media, Information and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo are laudable.

We believe that all looters who thrust their dirty hands into the ZBC cash register must be brought to account without mercy.

However, it is harsh that workers who went for months without receiving their salaries and helped expose the rot at the State broadcaster, have had their poor salaries reduced to the levels of 2010.

These workers exposed the corruption and did not benefit from the graft that brought the once vibrant public broadcaster to its knees.

Acres of newspaper space have been filled with details of how suspended chief executive Happison Muchechetere, who earned over $35 000 a month and three others in the public broadcaster’s top echelons, received home loans of about $200 000 each along with various other generous hefty allowances.

Why reduce poor workers’ salaries when they are already struggling to make ends meet as a result of their employer?

Their salaries were negotiated and approved by embattled former board chairperson Cuthbert Dube, “without the knowledge of the ZBC board”.

If indeed the salary hike was a unilateral decision taken by Dube why did fellow board members and the then Media and Information minister Webster Shamu not immediately take corrective action?

If the rest of the ZBC board and relevant people in the Information ministry were unaware until recently of the purported illegal salary hike, that would be a serious indictment on the Media, Information and Broadcasting Services ministry as a whole.

It is our belief that the unilateral reduction of ZBC salaries by minister Moyo is not only illegal but insensitive.

Moyo must put more effort in ensuring that ghost workers are flushed out and prosecuted along with those who illegally put them on the payroll.

Instead, efforts should be made to recover what was allegedly plundered by the suspended chief executive and senior management.

While Moyo has so far made bold and commendable moves to clean the rot at ZBC, he should also seriously scrutinise the role played by Shamu during his tenure as Information minister.

Shamu’s silence is really touching and he must come out and explain the goings on at ZBC during his time.

Comments (1)

the salaries being taken back to 2010 are what was recommended by a legitimate board..Professor Moyo is simply following the law. In an effort to clean up the rot those ghost workers are in the process of being flushed out..I would urge genuine ZBC staffers to be patient..You do recall that ZBC had to go to government for a bail out because of this nonsense. I think the Minister is doing his best to realign ZBC and ensure that staffers are paid what is due to them in a fair and transparent manner..2010 is 3 years back and the inflation rate has not moved beyond 5% of whatever the price level was in 2010..If anything prices have actually fallen below 2010 levels and it is this reality that informs the Minister to go back to these levels. Ultimately ZBC must start making a profit and salaries will follow..this they can achieve by containing costs inclusive of staff salaries!

gutter poet - 6 February 2014

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