Re-brand ZBC

HARARE - Heads have begun to roll at Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) after the suspension of acting chief executive officer Allan Chiweshe and general manager news and current affairs Tazzen Mandizvidza yesterday.

As reported elsewhere in this edition, the suspensions are part of disciplinary proceedings being instituted against suspended chief executive officer Happison Muchechetere and members of his top executive management over acts of misconduct, which prejudiced the State broadcaster of over $7 million.

Muchechetere is already facing criminal charges for allegedly inflating the purchase price of a radio Outside Broadcasting (OB) van from a Chinese firm.

All this was done without the knowledge of the board and without going to tender.

These are serious charges and while the ZBC board has their own reasons for suspending the duo, authorities need to furnish the nation with more information on the audit.

Despite this country’s traditional distaste for government-controlled communications media, the State retains a monopoly over public broadcasting licences.

A forensic audit report by KPMG Chartered Accountant has accused the ZBC management of financial mismanagement and poor performance.

We call on the newly-appointed board to report to the public, which are the major stakeholders here; on what steps it will be taking to improve our public broadcaster.

The Father Gibson Munyoro-led ZBC board has acknowledged the task that lies ahead and has promised that it will exercise far more strategic oversight over the ZBC.

Of course, a turnaround will not happen overnight. But if all the relevant parties cooperate, there will certainly be improvements over time.

To this end, the ZBC board has formed a joint task team comprising representatives from Scanlen and Holderness and a tribunal chaired by retired judge James de Vitte to look at the long-term financial viability of the broadcaster.

The ZBC has lurched from crisis to crisis with no sight in end. The time for action is now.

ZBC’s financial shambles may be traced directly to management’s pandering to interfering Zanu PF political heads, an indebted and very weak previous ZBC board, narcissistic executives and petrified staff thriving in an environment where the correct and prudent use of available management tools, systems, procedures and policies was actively discouraged.

The ZBC has a broad mandate to accommodate more than just Zanu PF political opinion and its failure to strike a meaningful balance in this regard seems to be the heart of its problems.

Until professionals, passionate broadcasters and support staff are prioritised as essential intellectual and human capital, there will be no progress.

 

Comments (1)

ZBC was rebranded many times ,its like rebranding Mugabe now when he is washed up,and at loss for ideas to continue being relevant in a dynamic ,young and vibrant world .the best way is to privatise it,and let it rebrand to reflect is change of ownership,otherwise send it to gushungo farm and let ZBC report on the goings on on the majesties farm

chihombori - 25 November 2014

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