ZBC fires hundreds, closes TV station

HARARE - As Zimbabwe's economic meltdown continues to escalate, the cash-strapped Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) on Wednesday closed its loss-making second television station and fired hundreds of its employees using the recent Supreme Court ruling that confirmed that employers could terminate the contracts of employees on three months’ notice.

Only last week, the State broadcaster fired four of its top officials — suspended chief executive officer Happison Muchechetere; former General Manager of finance, Elliot Kasu; ex-General Manager of Radio Services, Allan Chiweshe; and the Head (Finance) Ralph Nyambudzi. Now it has moved to wield the axe on journalists and supporting staff, in a desperate attempt to stay afloat.

Although the Daily News could not establish the exact number of people affected, as ZBC's spokesperson Gladman Bhandama was not picking up his phone, sources said at least 300 employees were left in tears yesterday when they were given the letters terminating their contracts.

Apart from firing its workers, the corporation also closed its second television channel, while its Gweru-based Voice of Zimbabwe operations were said to be hanging in the balance.

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

“We write to advice that the employer has decided to exercise its right in terms of the Common Law, and Section 12 (4) of the Labour  Act (Chapter 28:01) (Hereinafter referred to as the “Labour Act”) to terminate your contract of employment on notice with immediate effect.

“In this regard, you are hereby given three (3) months notice in terms of the provision of Section 12 (4) of the Labour Act.

“The employer absolves you from any of your contractual duties during the notice period. Accordingly you shall receive your notice pay whilst you are at home, subject to any existing commitments by way of debts or obligations.   

“You shall also be entitled to cash in lieu of leave as per relevant provision,” it reads.

Some of the more prominent personalities who were affected include news anchors Evermore Sandati and Marian Shaba.

“It was a surprise to us. We were given our letters in the morning and told to pack our belongings. The situation was very sad,” an affected employee who asked not to be identified said.

Last week the state-controlled Zimpapers, publishers of The Herald, the Sunday Mail and the Chronicle newspapers, also fired hundreds of its workers.

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

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, can 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 (33)

Vote Zhanu again!!

Mudhiniwe - 12 August 2015

IT IS HARD TO FEEL SORRY FOR ANYONE OF THESE ZBC WORKERS GIVEN THAT THEY ARE PROFESSIONAL PROSTITUTES WHO HAVE BEEN SPREADING STDs TO ALL FOR THE MASTER ZANU PF!

Patrick Guramatunhu - 12 August 2015

Aah thoko kwakwakwa their dear zanu which they worshiped day and night has made them machayinyokas kkkkkkkkkkkk!!!!!!!! Sandati now machayiynyoka hey!!So is Hapison .What are you going to do guys ? Better go to SA to do daka boy jobs other wise you will die of hunger haawu thoko once more.

Diibulaanyika - 12 August 2015

Its better, less lies and propaganda for now. These employees must sue Zanu pf government for brain damage.

X-MAN IV - 12 August 2015

The snake is now biting its protectors.These people where protecting zanu pf.Zvaiwana ngwarati.Ehi...dyiwa urinyama iwe.muchamuka chete.

duliwadzimu - 12 August 2015

What does it take for our geriatric leadership to realize that we are in a crisis which needs an urgent political solution. Have they no capacity to see these things. Saka misangano yose inoitwa ndeayamapofu ka iyi.

pachedu - 12 August 2015

Ndibatsirei macomrades....I believe there is one or two normal persons in this gvt...surely they cant be all collectively blind. Why cant someone shake the old man or shout that the Zimbabwe house is on fire. Tosvikepi navanhu ava?

pachedu - 12 August 2015

It simply shows how idiots in management are messing up everything because when opportunities presented themselves during GNU, idiots were stealing instead of growing the business in preparation of hard times. Had they done that they could now be seconding all those losing their jobs so that demand for goods and services can be maintained, hence sustaining the economy. RIP Zimbabwe and cry the beloved country.

Ziziharinanyanga - 12 August 2015

Hona Mukoma Nhongo bereka sub tiende chauya chauya... Bereka sub tiende. Hona Mukoma Nhongo huyaiwo muone zvaitwa nyika... Huyaiwo muone. Hona Baba Mu.... honawo zvawaita nyika...waibvarura... Honawo zvawaita!

gen'a - 13 August 2015

Next is Ruben Barwe and Judith Makwanya please.

gen'a - 13 August 2015

zanupf inonzi chidhoteso. muchadhota chete

biggie Smalla - 13 August 2015

@Diibulaanyika - kodwa wena, hhayi kkkkkkk

X - 13 August 2015

ZBC ndineurombo but ndimi munogara muchiti zvese zvakabatana nyika irikubudirira saka iyi ndiyo pudding yacho nakirwai nayo! We write to advice that the employer has decided to exercise its right in terms of bla, bla, bla. Correct word is "advise" unless kana taakushandisa chirungu cheku East Africa.

skatsiru - 13 August 2015

It is because of idiots with myopic views brazenly expressed above by people who celebrate firing of fellow workers that this country is going nowhere. You blame leaders for our collapse but us morons are equally culpable for despite being literate we are not educated. Its common sense that he who pays the piper calls the tune and one who works for Zanu PF can work for MDC the next day in order to put food on the table. Worse still some of you are in the diaspora instead of helping us build the country and you celebrate the demise of your brother. Shame on us Zimbabweans and let our leaders exploit us eternally for being stupid!!! Nxcaaa

WeAreIdiots - 13 August 2015

Comrades, it isn't just the ZBC facing closure but nearly every other institution as well - everyone other than perhaps the few elite who are filling their pockets with diamonds, who are feeling the pain of this gigantic economic collapse. Has anyone ever given it any real thought about how one goes about repairing the damage done to all our essential basic infrastructures and what it would take to repair our economy. All I can say is that no one man or person, regardless of their strength, capability of intelligence is capable of doing so. Even a like minded and well disciplined team would struggle to get this country back to the way it was in the 70's and early 80's.....and looking at all those running for election, I do not see one single person or united and co-ordinated team capable of doing it. They are all in it for themselves and I really do not believe any of their hollow promises anymore. All of us have very tough days ahead of us. It is going to get a whole lot worse.

Phineas Sithole - 13 August 2015

Viva Zanu!! Kkkkkkkkkkkk. Maiti zvichaperera kupi? Mafuza evanhu. You never ride on a lion's back you fools. Nhasi ndezvipi? Go and join Mbare Chimurenga choir and do kongonya and maybe Zanu might reconsider, don't you think?

Mutirowafanza - 13 August 2015

More disappointed,disillusioned,disgruntled,deceived,dislocated,displaced and dejected people is what created Fascism in post world war 1Italy.

juks - 13 August 2015

For many years the Lord has been showing me that His judgment is falling on our nation. All the signs are here. Everyone of them. Repentance is the only way through this. The church is now so busy making money that they have forgotten to call the nation to repentance. No repentance! no restoration! When we get serious with God He will get serious with us. ZPF are most certainly under judgment. It will be better to repent!

TruthBTold - 13 August 2015

RAMBAI MAKASHINGA VANA VEZANU BURATI SHIT IKOZVINO MAVAKUKWENYA NEPASINGA SWINYI

DHINDINDI - 13 August 2015

Mwari pindirai tibatsireivo toga hatigoni pasina imi.

chimbambaira - 13 August 2015

This labour law invoked by employers to fire workers has been in effect since colonial times. All companies which are sacking people after court rulling on the Muzuva Co. case very well knew of its existence. My question is why have these companies not been firing people before the court rulling if they found it necessary for whatever reasons to do so ? I mean who has been holding them back from disposing "excess baggage " as most claim ? It cannot be that all these companies were ignorant of this law. NO. It can only mean one thing. In Zimbabwe exists an atmosphere of fear of even invoking the law as a resort to settling issues- the normal thing. People are now of the thinking that unless corroberated by the government of the rulling party Zanu-PF any law means nothing. Now that the rulling party through its government judiciary wing has given its approval now the sacking can beggin en-masse. This goes to proove how much fear of Zanu-PF people have absorbed. This is going to be the legacy of Zanu-PF. People see a mirage of Robert Mugabe wherever they are. At the ballot boxes and even in their bedrooms. They are no longer sure if they shouild breathe or simply allow themselves to pass off before consulting him.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 13 August 2015

The HR must give Rueben Barwe his letter soon , pamberi neZanu , they rigged the election but they can't rig the economy . The cabinet is also to bid so Mugabe must fire some ministers

Mudhara - 13 August 2015

Talk of creating 2.2million jobs of jobless people? Call me whatever you want but these are results of your continued support of clueless Zanu PF. We have been crying out all along but those at ZBC were not seeing it. People were doing everything to please their masters at our expense-Money at all costs. Now you want us to sympathise with them. kkkkkk guys lets be serious. Vamwe takaitwa marovha kare nekuda kweZanu yenyu. Welcome on board. Sandati can be a good vendor. Ngavauye tigoche tese chibage.

Tozvireva - 13 August 2015

The demise of a ZTV station is no loss at all. I just hate the unemployment!

TruthBTold - 13 August 2015

Ma Zimbabweans we are not united, Dzamara was alone we watched him demonstrating ari one. Mukada kudemonstrater vamwe vanotozvivharira mudzimba havaende. Izvezvi pakanzi handei to march ku parliament hatidi. Asi we want to complain kuti zvinhu zviri kuipa on social platforms chete no action. Arume tichamama nenzara hatisati tatanga. The Tunisians, Egyptians they did it vari pamwe chete manje isu kusvikirwa tisisna fear we will win the struggle bcoz 2018 ma results atovapo kare its a delayed match not change is coming

Paul Mzeleza - 13 August 2015

Rueben Barwe, ZBC News Bankgok,Thailand.

Gaga - 13 August 2015

zimbawe reminds me of ancient egypt during the tim of moses remember pharoah refused to listen even though there was very much evidence that things were not well in his country even after all the plagues hitting his country except 1 which personaly affected him...to summarise it all NOONE IS ABOVE GOD

jimmy - 13 August 2015

Now that Hapson ,Sandati and other 200 something were fired from dead bc and are officially declared Machayinyokas that means at least for now we can say huuuw to listening to amanyala from dead bc .Within next few weeks all these guys will be zinunka mulomo worst still Chinamasa banned importation of Marengenya and that means means these machayinyokas for the first time will put on bhurugwes full of izigamba their under shoulers will smell bcoz they will no longer afford to by expensive perfumes just like the rest of the citizens and can bath using chinkndya kkkkkkkkkk thoko

Diibulaanyika - 13 August 2015

Yah this is a very sad situation and people should also think of investments in situations like these because you will never know what tomorrow holds. Investment is not always about putting thousands of dollars in companies, inbox me so that l can give you tips on the best opportunity found at Four Corners Alliance Group. A small investment from as little as $20.00 will help you feel safe even after a 3 months notice at work because you will still have income for you and your loved ones +263774069052

Grace - 17 August 2015

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