BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
COMMUNITY Newspapers’ Association of Zimbabwe (CNAZ) chairperson Jasper Maposa has resigned in protest over irregularities and corruption allegedly dogging the organisation.
Maposa tendered his resignation letter on Monday alleging that the association had been marred by serious governance challenges, leading to coffers being turned into the board members’ feeding trough.
In a letter addressed to the association’s secretary-general Owen Matava, Maposa said: “I have given my resignation careful thought and I am convinced that with my age I have much to gain by leaving CNAZ and focus on other things than hold on to a forlorn dream. Leading an institution like CNAZ replete with open and latent internal contradictions has been for me nothing, but a puerile gesture in discontent.”
Maposa said he had found his job difficult in propelling the organisation to desired levels because of spanners being thrown into his works by people who were also eyeing his position.
“This is also a calculated ploy by those who want to occupy the position of the chairperson by abusing the national co-ordinator (Maggie Mzumara) for their personal gains. I can’t continue with an institution that has no clear separation of roles as conflict has become endemic to our every attempt to bring robust policy directions. I don’t desire to whittle down my chances of doing something better in life by holding on to an institutional carriage creaking on its hinges,” he said.
Maposa said CNAZ has to choose whether they want to have significant support from a broad spectrum of stakeholders or enjoy sustained mediocrity.
“It boggles my mind to see that we have dismally failed to be part of the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ) and we appear like a nestling terminally incapable of flying. Remaining outside institutions like MAZ is indicative of our failure to match the governance benchmarks expected by such a mother body for the media in Zimbabwe ,” Maposa said
“I have also realised some board members abused donor funds in their other roles and their presence in the board remains a heavy albatross on CNAZ and scares away potential funding partners. The contents of this letter might attract vitriol and deep revulsion, but I stand firm on whatever I have said and I am unapologetic.”
Maposa added that it became increasingly difficult to offer guidance to a national co-ordinator who was also a publisher because of the dual nature of her roles.
Contacted for comment, Matava said: “Wait, let me talk to him (Maposa) because the letter will tarnish the association; I want to talk to your source because he was not supposed to do that because that will affect the association. As we are at our infancy, problems are encountered and the issues that he (Maposa) raised, if we blow them out of proportion we are not building the community media, people will actually celebrate and this will destroy the association.”
Mzumara could not be reached for a comment as her mobile phone went unanswered.
Repeated efforts for a comment failed as she did not respond to WhatsApp messages sent to her mobile phone since Wednesday.