ZBC suspends TV, radio boss Madondo

HARARE - Acting ZBC head of radio and television services Tendai Madondo has been suspended to pave way for a disciplinary hearing.

ZBC public relations manager Eltah Robbins confirmed the suspension yesterday but was unwilling to reveal the reasons why the all-powerful Madondo had been axed.

“She was suspended pending a disciplinary procedure. Her position — head of radio and television services — is very central and critical and as such ZBC could not afford to let her carry on with her duties with a disciplinary process hanging over her head. For this reason, she was suspended to allow her to concentrate on the disciplinary hearing,” Robbins told the Daily News.

The spokesperson was not forthcoming on the length of the suspension.

“I cannot comment on the length of the suspension because the matter will be handled in line with ZBC human resources procedures and that will determine the length of the procedure,” she said.

Though Robbins was unwilling to reveal finer details of the case, well-placed sources claimed that Madondo, who was effectively the most powerful person at the national broadcaster after chief executive officer Patrick Mavhura, was escorted out of ZBC by security details soon after being suspended.

The sources further alleged that the tough-talking Madondo was suspended on allegations of fraud.

Efforts to get a comment from Madondo were unsuccessful yesterday.

In October last year, ZBC told this paper that they had begun the process of finding a substantive head of radio and television services.

Then ZBC spokesperson Firstme Vitori said the position of head production and television was among the posts that the ZBC board headed by Father Gibson Munyoro had resolved to fill.

“Madondo has been temporarily assigned to the position of head production and television services as an interim measure. Ideally the portfolio, given its centrality to our core business, should be manned at director level. It therefore follows that there is a vacancy for a full time director production and television services which position shall be filled in due course,” she said, adding:

“There were vacancies at senior level due to the restructuring exercise which has been happening since 2014 and for a while these positions were frozen hence office bearers at the time were assigned in an acting capacity.

“However, the board of directors resolved and gave a go ahead for recruitment to commence for substantive office bearers.”

Yesterday, Robbins could not be drawn into revealing if Madondo had now been given the job on a permanent basis at the time of the suspension.

Madondo quit her post as managing director for regional stations at ZiFM in February last year in order to join ZBC as head of Power FM. After a few months at Power FM, she was assigned the powerful role of head of radio and television services in an acting capacity.

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