ZIMBABWE Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) employees in Bulawayo have accused management of bringing the company to its knees through maladministration and nepotism whereby unqualified personnel were hired to run the national broadcaster.
In a stormy no holds barred meeting meant to come up with strategies for ZBC to make money, chaired by the head area administrator at Montrose Studios, Bulawayo, Nonceba Mnkandla on Monday, the employees complained that the organisation was top heavy.
“The employees were infuriated by the calling of that meeting saying the management knew the problems bedevilling the station.
“The employees raised the issue of top heavy management at ZBC. For example, here at Montrose we have five managers who are doing nothing. It was said we just need one manager and the rest must go,” an employee told Southern Eye.
“The same managers here report to other managers in Harare who do the same thing. It was also raised that most people at the top were political appointees without any relevant educational qualifications thereby lacking business appreciation that is needed to drive such a big company.”
It is said some managers started off as receptionists and rose through the ranks without attaining any formal education in line with the managerial offices they were deployed to.
“The employees also raised the issue of prohibitive advertising rates with the station charging $500 per minute for advertising yet competitors with digital equipment charged cheaper rates compared to our analogue system which has poor quality.
“The employees said it therefore means we only have the licensing department that brings in money, but still many people are not willing to pay because of our poor programming that is biased in favour of Zanu PF.”
The employees also accused management of forgetting the core business of the organisation and misplaced priorities.
“The employees said management at times concentrated on administration and bought themselves top-of-the-range vehicles while the news crews and other lower departments had rundown vehicles.”
It is also rumoured that management had bought other vehicles which they hid somewhere.
The issue of victimisation was also raised at the meeting.
Mnkandla yesterday declined to comment on the matter.
“Do we know each other?” Mnkandla asked. When this reporter responded in the negative, Mnkandla quipped: “No comment.”
A similar meeting was reportedly held in Harare where employees called for salary cuts for management.
Last week, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services deputy minister Supa Mandiwanzira held a meeting with the corporation’s management where he emphasised the urgent need to pay employees.
Last month, Mandiwanzira’s boss Jonathan Moyo came hard on the State broadcaster saying it was unacceptable for employees to go unpaid.
Moyo proceeded to dissolve the ZBC board and sent chief executive officer Happison Muchechetere and other senior staffers on forced leave to pave way for a forensic audit set to establish how funds and assets were used by management.