MEDIA, Information and Broadcasting Services secretary George Charamba’s admission that ZBC CEO Happison Muchechetere was not the right man for the job is commendable, but his reasons for failing to act on mismanagement at the State broadcaster cannot go unchallenged.
Muchechetere was suspended with full benefits by Media, Information and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo last month to allow for an audit at ZBC, which was at the time tottering on the brink of collapse.
The suspension was followed by shocking revelations that the CEO was paying himself $40 000 a month and that workers were owed in excess of $4,6 million. Charamba told the Parliamentary Portolio Comittee on Media, Information and Broadcasting Services this week that the government had been aware of Muchechetere’s incompetence for sometime. He said they also knew Muchechetere had no requisite skills for the job and did not deserve the hefty salary.
Charamba said the only reason the ministry did not act was that Zimbabwe was facing an election at the time.
Indeed such an explanation can only be given by a government official in Zimbabwe. Every literate Zimbabwean knows that ZBC became huge disservice to the electorate during the July 31 elections as it chose to flout regulations and act as a Zanu PF broadcaster.
All Zimbabweans that had views contrary to Zanu PF were never given airtime while ZBC followed President Robert Mugabe to each and every rally he held in the run-up to the polls.
Charamba has the cheek to stand before MPs telling them the reason the ministry did not act on Muchechetere’s incomepetence was because there was an impending election.
In other words, he admits that as long as errant heads of parastatals are serving the interests of Zanu PF, the government looks the other way when they misbehave.
By its own admission, the ministry says Muchechetere almost single handedly brought ZBC to its knees. Charamba and former Information minister Wesbter Shamu should take the blame for the ZBC rot and stop giving excuses. If Zimbabwe was another country the two would have left the government positions at the same time Muchechetere was suspended.