via Moyo pay remarks anger ZBC workers 10/03/2014 NewZimbabwe
INFORMATION minister Jonathan Moyo has drawn the wrath of ordinary Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) workers after telling them they did not deserve a pay hike.
Speaking to journalists in Bulawayo, Moyo said ZBC workers could not demand more State funding while producing atrocious programmes which were being shunned by viewers.
“ZBC is producing content nobody is watching but the workers want to be paid. Where do you expect the government to get the money to pay you when the company’s monthly revenue collection does not tally with its astronomical salary bill,” said the minister.
“The government cannot reward you for not discharging your mandate. Do you still have public interest? First discharge your mandate before demanding rewards.
“Time has changed. You cannot continue airing jingles such as Hondo Yeminda andDai Kuri Kwedu Machembere adverts.”
Said one employee who did not want to be named: “Surely, labour laws in Zimbabwe should protect us from the Prof. First he cut our salaries by half and now he is saying this, what is our crime?”
“Our workers’ committee members are afraid of approaching the labour courts fearing for their jobs. We have been reduced to beggars and yet we play a role in disseminating the ruling party’s propaganda,” lamented another.
Regarding Moyo’s complaints about poor programming, most of the workers said they had no say on what finally goes on air as this was the responsibility of top management, adding that the minister was “shooting the messenger”.
“We have since stopped criticising our content because you can be labelled as an opposition sympathiser and you end up of losing your job. We have testimonies of our colleagues who were fired for questioning our content,” one employee said.
Some however agreed with Moyo, and said they also did watch their own productions, opting instead for international television channels.
“Watching our own production is so disturbing because it seems as if hondo yechimurenga (the war of the liberation struggle) ended yesterday because our content is always talking about that hour after hour, surely.”
Moyo’s return as information minister was met with joy when he fired the ZBC Board led by Cuthbert Dube for failing to come up with a turnaround programme for the broadcaster.
However, the decision to cut staff salaries by half, reducing them to 2010 levels has hit morale at ZBC’s Pockets Hill base in Harare.