ZIMBABWE Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)’s new board, which is yet to be appointed, has been tasked to implement a raft of structural changes at the public broadcaster, among them the closure of Gweru-based Voice of Zimbabwe and Montrose studios in Bulawayo and a streamlining of the current management, NewsDay has learnt.
The insolvent broadcaster, which had for the past seven months failed to pay staff salaries while its executives took home obscene perks, has to implement drastic cost-cutting measures to contain its expenditure which far outstripped its revenues.
Sources close to the corporation at ZBC’s Gweru’s studios said that they had been alerted by management that the station was being relocated to Harare.
“We have been told that we should be on standby to relocate to Harare as the company is looking at ways to restructure its
expenditure,” the source said.
In Bulawayo, the corporation has since stopped the use of Montrose studios as all programming is now done at Pockets Hills Studios in Harare.
Contacted for comment over the issue, Information minister Jonathan Moyo this week could neither deny nor confirm the impending restructuring exercise.
“We are going to appoint a new board which will interact with the forensic auditors and among other things make proposals about the way forward,” Moyo said.
He added that speaking in public about the restructuring would undermine the efforts of the new board which should make its own independent decisions about solving the corporation’s woes.
“The new board is expected to craft a turnaround strategy for the corporation and make sure that the broadcaster produces quality and professional programming,” he added.
Moyo, however, did not specify when the new board would be instituted to replace the fired Cuthbert Dube-led board.
Dube’s board was unceremoniously booted out last November for awarding high salaries that bordered on “illegality” to the ZBC executives while junior staffers went unpaid for half a year.