MEDIA, Information and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo yesterday came face to face with demoralised Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) employees who have gone for five months without salaries.
Moyo also got a firsthand account of the institution’s dilapidated infrastructure.
For more than six hours, Moyo toured ZBC facilities at Mbare and Pockets Hill studios, meeting management and general staff.
Although the employees did not get the opportunity to open up to the minister, they told our sister paper NewsDay that Moyo was their only hope to finally get paid.
“Life has not been easy for us. Where in the world have you seen a whole State broadcaster that fails to pay its employees for nearly half a year?” said an employee speaking on condition of anonymity.
“Things must be straightened here and we hope the professor (Moyo) will find a solution to our plight.”
Addressing the media after the tour, Moyo said the issue of non-payment of employees was a top priority.
“There is no reason why ZBC employees should not be paid,” he said.
“In fact, that is one of the most urgent issues we have to address.”
Earlier on Moyo, who was accompanied by his deputy Supa Mandiwanzira and permanent secretary in his ministry, George Charamba, had visited studios and newsrooms where equipment, some of which was installed by Iranians last year, was now malfunctioning.
However, on the plus side, the minister was impressed by the state-of-the-art outside broadcasting vans purchased by ZBC last year which chief executive officer Happison Muchechetere said were being appreciated by international broadcasters who have since expressed interest in doing business with the State broadcaster.
Since his appointment two months ago, Moyo has been touring media houses to get their concerns and create amicable working relationships, saying polarisation that had characterised Zimbabwean media must end.