Herald, ZBC retrench hundreds of employees

HARARE - With Zimbabwe’s economy in the doldrums and showing no prospects of recovering any time soon, State media organisations -- the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and Zimpapers, the publishers of The Herald, the Sunday Mail and the Chronicle newspapers -- are retrenching hundreds of their staff.

This is despite the fact that they have over the past few weeks been leading a crusade against scores of other companies, including media organisations, that have recently right-sized their operations in the worsening economic climate.

Zimpapers moved to lay off dozens of journalists and other support staff on Friday, in an exercise that insiders said could see up to 150 staff members losing their jobs by the end of next week.

The company's newly-appointed chief executive, Pikirayi Deketeke, confirmed the retrenchments last night, but declined to give the exact numbers of those affected.

“I am in Jo’burg at the moment, but what is affecting the rest ... is the same,” he said candidly.

Some of the affected Zimpapers journalists include Sydney Kawadza, Brenda Phiri, Fortious Nhambura, Mbachi Mutukula Maregera, Blackmore Mavhura and Augustine Hwata.

A letter that was written to the workers by the company cited the recent Supreme Court judgement as the basis for the dismissals.

“This letter serves to inform you that Zimpapers (1980 limited) has decided to terminate your employment contract on notice. The group has passed a decision to exercise its rights under common law which allows either party to terminate the employment contract on notice. In accordance with the provisions of section 12 (4) of the labour Act, we hereby give you three months’ notice to terminate your contract of employment.

“The notice shall start to run on delivery of this letter, or to the domicilium that you choose under your employment contract or such other address notified to human resources department at your branch by you in writing,” it read.

The fired workers were told not to report for duty forthwith.

On the other hand state controlled broadcaster ZBC has moved to fire its four top officials -- suspended chief executive officer Happison Muchechetere, former General Manager (Finance) Elliot Kasu, ex-General Manager (Radio Services) Allan Chiweshe, and Head (Finance) Ralph Nyambudzi using the same ruling.

It was also understood that up to 400 other ZBC could face the chop by month-end, although the corporation's spokesperson, Gladman Bandama, disputed this.

“At the moment there is no official position on whether we will be retrenching. Though there is no communication, 400 people will be too many to retrench,” Bandama said.

"We are very angry about all this and the sickening hypocrisy that our bosses have displayed. We all thought that we were safe because for weeks we were under pressure and at the forefront of writing nasty stories about other companies that have retrenched. Now this.

"It is now clear that we were being used to serve the political interests of our bosses and their handlers, not realising that the retrenchments here would be more widespread and severe than at other media houses," a miffed Chronicle staffer said last night.

Virtually all the country's media organisations have now trimmed their workforce as Zimbabwe's economic crisis continues to deepen.

For Zimpapers and Alpha Media Holdings -- the publishers of Newsday, the Standard and the Zimbabwe Independent -- this is the second time in two years that they have embarked on retrenchments.

Thousands of formal sector workers have lost their jobs over the past few weeks following the recent confirmation by the Supreme Court that employers, just like employees, could terminate employment contracts on three months’ notice.

Other entities which have recently cut staff numbers include parastatals such as the National Railways of Zimbabwe, Air Zimbabwe, the Grain Marketing Board, the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe National Road Administration, as well as private sector companies like Croco Motors, Econet Wireless, Moonlight Funeral Services, Sino Zimbabwe, Steward Bank, Unilever Zimbabwe, Choppies, TN Holdings and Medtech.

Comments (29)

So, these propaganda mouthpieces that were at the forefront of demonising others are actually the worst culprits. The depths of this regime's depravity and hypocrisy know no bounds. Kunzima.

Khumalo - 7 August 2015

ZanuPF yakawora vakomana. And gore rino tichadzidza zvakawanda. Kikikikikikikikiki!

Musorodamba - 7 August 2015

With all this retrenching madness going on unemployment is now reaching the 99 percentage and that is what those who support zanu like to see kakakakakaka aaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!.If Freedom fighters like Fisher and Twinlock Nkomo who were killed and hang on the tree along Byo and Vic falls road in Hwange in 1978 by Rhodesian forces and left to rot in full view of the public can work up from the dead and see how this country has been run down I have no doubt they can twist the neck of the one leading this country .

Diibulaanyika - 8 August 2015

Chegorerino I foresee tables turning for sure

Mundewere Bocha - 8 August 2015


Jomisi - 8 August 2015

And here we were all along believing the same said Herald which said not so along ago that the economy was not dying. And didn't they suspend one of the journalists then for writing that the economy was dying? #1980SoFarSoBad!

Mercy - 8 August 2015

The Herald is the unofficial mouthpiece and main propaganda machine of ZANU PF. It is responsible for continually misleading the innocent and naive. Their standard of journalism is pathetically poor and always tainted with lies. So it surprises me not that they are retrenching staff as fewer and fewer people now purchasing this load of absolute rubbish.

Hepworth - 8 August 2015

they should have fired them all because they are not doing the nation any good. after that, then the whole cabinet also resigns in shame. why should zimra follow suit when their mandate is to collect revenue from these closing companies? ooh it's in Zimbabwe where everything does not make sense. a president who is close to a century, no problem, he takes another man's wife, no problem, he stays in power for 40 years, no problem, he decimates a whole tribe, no problem, creates vendors of 90% of the people, still no problem.

josphat mugadzaweta - 8 August 2015

We wonder if an audit will be done on the “loan accounts” that these greedy inept goons were given or took. Some of them now have free fancy stands and houses like those stolen by the corrupt police hierarchy east of Harare.

Stellamaris Chorwira - 8 August 2015

2008 MDC won elections, 2013, they also won. They had tangible promises unlike their opposition Zanu who did not have even a single believable promise. People its time up. 2000 000 were promised. You were supposed to ask yourselves how were they going to provide these jobs if they cant provide solutions in their own party?? They re the people who own most companies so they now want to run away from paying benefits of their employees thats why they came up with that thuggish ruling which they are now using to dismiss employees. Once again its time up. Next thing tichanzi tose chibudai munyika nokuti tisu takairwira.

piaget - 8 August 2015

Great zimbas,now you can see the situation on the ground.Tsvangirai , civic leaders and churches plan national day of prayer,praying for peace,Dzamara etc,God would ask how he can help?what have we done to show Zpf is killing the country?,that they rig elections,they kill and abduct,corruption and all the suffering, did we fight this evil party,did we resist Chihuri and co?,we pay sport fines,Zrp take money from people smilling,workers are sent off like slaves to encrease % of unemployment, Mu zimba anongoti mwari ndiye anoziva,time will come.God is ready to rescue zimbabwe now, mangwana ,but he need your proposals, Gamatox has good ideas but they express in hidding,the same with the entire opp parties,Dabengwa,Mavambo etc,always have their tails between .Remember Tsvangirai's final push,Dzamara.Zvekuti mwari mwari Zanu ngaiende ,ngaibve isu tichinwa tea majokes.

p.chawora - 8 August 2015

Companies must down size to survive . The harsh economic environment in Zimbabwe does not give employers with space fir business as usual . They have to take drastic actions to keep their businesses going . its not unusual it's simple business logic and Zimbabwe is not exceptional . It happens every where in the world.

Dzasukwa - 8 August 2015

I have never heard of any country on doing retrenchment the way it is done in zim . In the early 90s one lunatic Chizero introduced esap instead of creating jobs thousands of jobs were lost and the morons kept on telling the nation to tighten belts and pull up sox as everything will be alright right up to this day they are still saying so . We have reached the 99 percent of unemployment mark still some people including the Herald ,the Chronicle and zbc still sing and clapping hands for zanu to do more damage.But the good thing is that the party they always sing praises and worship day and night has turned against them chasing them away from work like one would chase away a dog that is smelling human shiit thoko mushee .

Diibulaanyika - 8 August 2015

Chamisa wherever you are you must be very happy. Kubata kwako tirikukuona. Ndokushanda ka uku.

Lucky - 8 August 2015

A point of corrrection on my previous post. I was off topic. Now my correct reaction to the story. I hope The Herald fired all its reporters. This is the only way they can learn of telling the truth - when they are in the streets outside the umbrella of the stinking Paper. Sad to say you will find those fired are mere Teaboys. No, hold on,what am I missing:the teaboys were feeding the lying reporters. So reasonable to say no matter who they fired this could spell the start of goodnews from the paper; not the usual propaganda which has become their hallmark.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 9 August 2015

When companies retrench do they also consider retrenching the salary packages?

John Gwizo - 10 August 2015

Zimpapers and ZBC workers must sue Zanu pf government of brain damage.

X-MAN IV - 10 August 2015

I have asked this question countless times???? Why does any sane right thinking Zimbabwean but the Herald???? 15 years back it was a daily pleasure: now it is a daily lie. Boycott these things. make a statement that we will no longer tolerate a lie; a subversion of justice.

TruthBTold - 11 August 2015

can someone help me please nyaya ya runestso yasvika kure nyaya iripano yakaoma iye ari busy kuita mafanizi nenyaya yake yemakambani vamwe wari kuvhara iwe urikuvhura sure vana runestso muchademba

dindindi - 11 August 2015

We desperately need/require/must have another revolution, not the first, which was a worst of life and resources.

EL-DODO - 12 August 2015


DINDINDI - 12 August 2015

i think the unfortunate rollout of retrencment letters is not a problem with entities concerned but rather of Zanu pf led gvt who got us in this mess, in Zimbabwe its impossible to stay afloat. We need to cllectively take a stand against this gvt of decades and decades and decades

Moyo - 12 August 2015

its now out of hand and desperate measures have to be put in place before something really ugly comes to haunt this nation of ours because all these disgruntled retrenched workers are a serious threat because of their bitterness

slow poison - 12 August 2015

How sad for these families. We pray the affected workers had a PLAN B like me. Our organisation is willing to assist those affected.

B. Mapwashike - 12 August 2015

The law has always been like that. Its only that companies did not want to exercise their right because its not a best labor practice. Zuva pretroleum through Chamisa opened the floodgate to our suffering. I dont see any reason why we should support companies that abuses labor laws. I will never ever refuel my car at Zuva let alone get free pressure from their filling stations.

Admire - 13 August 2015


DHINDINDI - 13 August 2015

Admire I thought with the anger you are having you were going to say you will never live in Zanu's Zimbabwe. Because these things happening at Zuva are exactly the same things happening in Zimbabwe.

JUZO - 15 August 2015

This is quite sad and this is the right time for people to think of investment, not just an investment of thousands of dollars in huge companies. Four Corners Alliance Group offers everyone an opportunity to invest from as little as $20.00 and you may never worry about the 3 Months notice from work because your investment will yield enough income for you and your loved ones. contact me for more info +263774069052

Grace - 17 August 2015

Ko ingawani taki neZimAsset muchawana 2 million jobs! Ayoka majobs ayo all those who are being retrenched are going to create jobs by working for themselves! Vose vanenge vadzingwa are going to be given loans under our Chinese Retrenchment Support Program. KKKKKKK! Very sad situation in our country. I never thought Zimpapers the patriotic paper would fire anybody. Kuku dzakuuya kumba kuzokandira mazai.

CDE Operation Zimasset Bazooka ReNyika - 17 August 2015

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