HomeNewsEx-staffers bemoan ZBC situation

Ex-staffers bemoan ZBC situation

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FORMER local broadcasters yesterday opened up on the state of affairs at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), where standards have nosedived with employees going for almost half a year without salaries.

REPORT BY JOHN NYASHANU

In separate interviews with NewsDay, the State broadcaster’s ex-staffers bemoaned the situation at ZBC, once an employer of choice in Zimbabwe’s media industry, saying political interference, lack of professionalism and underfunding were the major factors killing the organisation.

“I have got nothing personal against Happison Muchechetere (ZBC CEO on forced leave), but the bottom line is that he’s not an administrator, but a top broadcaster and I think he should concentrate on that and leave qualified people to run the corporation,” former sports reporter Tichaona Sibanda who is now based in the United Kingdom said.

Sibanda also blasted political interference at ZBC saying: “During our era, there wasn’t much interference in as far as news content or programming was concerned. These days I hear that reporters and producers are taken to task for not giving adequate coverage to President Robert Mugabe or Zanu PF.”

However, Gilbert Nyambabvu, a former news anchor on This Morning, disagreed, blaming ZBC’s alleged poor content on lack of creativity.

“We are often told that the problem at ZBC is interference by the political establishment (Zanu PF), but I’m not persuaded by that argument.

“Once you have a leadership that can stand up to the politicians, you may then liberate the talent which those of us who worked at the ZBC know exists in abundance. Someone once said all news is propaganda — so why is BBC or CNN or SABC propaganda, perhaps, more watchable than ZBC propaganda?” Nyambabvu, who is now also based in England queried.

Former star presenter Tichafa Matambanadzo also took a swipe at broadcasting standards at ZBC, saying compromising quality had significantly affected viewership at the State broadcaster.

“They (ZBC leadership) must give chance to fresh ideas. Whenever youngsters take new ideas, the old guard there feels threatened and victimises these youths.

Genuine mentorship, like what some of us received, is no longer there. It’s a culture we need to inculcate in every sphere, be it business, politics, sport — you name it. At the end of the day, ZBC needs to create an exciting product which everyone would be proud to attach their products to,” Matambanadzo, popularly known as Tich Mataz said.

Another presenter Praxedes Jeremiah, who left ZBC at the turn of the millennium and is in Europe, ruled out another dance with the national broadcaster.

“I don’t see myself going back to ZBC. I will only come back to Zim to open my own radio and TV station,” she said.

The ZBC crisis resulted in Media, Information and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo last week dissolving the entire board and suspending Muchechetere alongside three other senior members of staff, pending a forensic audit to determine the extent to which the State broadcaster could have been prejudiced.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Izvi zvekuramba maadverts from other companies coz they are deemed not be proZANU hazvibatsiri. Politicians leave ZBC alone, pindirai paNews chete…..

  2. Gilbert Nyambabvu, you may try to cover it up but political interference at ZBC is there for every normal person to see. I am sorry to single you out but I hate this kind of mentality.

    • Who is Nyambabvu trying to fool? Even a five year old can see Mugabe and ZanuPF are the problem that has brought ZBC to its knees. Corruption, mismanagement and incompetence are the hallmark of ZanuPF; every sector touched by these thugs is crumbling.

  3. For how long are these ministers going to continue backing top executives who distroy companies like ZBC.The former minister was watching ZBC die throughout his tenure.What was his duty? He would appear on television at ZBC nearly twice a month,doing what in a sinking institute.

    Hands off to the Professor,Minister Moyo for a job well done.Rambai matips vaMoyo zvinhu zvichiparara.

    I would urgue Minister Moyo to also carryout an investigation and fire people at HERALD.Huori hwanyanya isu taneta.Herald is now full of corruption and tribalism.SekuHerald vakalooter kani. Ngavaende kani.

  4. nyambabvu z right….it all requires a professional to stand up to politicians. Gvts all over the world try by all means to influence bt it is up to the media personel nt to b compromised. Politics z everywhere even in private companies and if u allow yo manager to dictate a political tone n u allow it z a professional,then its u who z a fool.

  5. There are more than 500 000 TV sets in Zimbabwe. By finding a way to get $1 from each a day (not directly charging) then ZBC would be out of problems. ZBC is very wealthy but do not know how to convert the wealth into cash flow. Just as much as most African countries are wealthy but do not know how transform that into cash for its citizens. Create value with your screen and you will make money. Very simple

    • Instead of insisting on an exorbitant license fee of $50 a year ZBC can be proactive and charge $5 dollars a quarterly year which the majority of listeners and viewers can afford.The content of its products is inflated and over-valued basing on the current license fee structures ZBC insists listeners and viewers should pay.

    • Please try to get DVD sermons from Prophet Makandiwa on unlocking value. All the answers that we dearly sought are laid down plainly. I wonder why government does not consult him for advice.

  6. Who is this fool called nyambavu? Some of us were great listeners of zbc radios but i do not remember a name Nyambavu . Anywhere the guy is confused by comparing zbc to the mighty bbc or cnn because they pay their workers handsomely and in time .Zanu killed zbc but i do not feel sorry for those workers who are not being paid because they hand been singing jongwe rakakunda since from 1980 and they must eat that.

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