via ZBC set to retrench 500 workers – DailyNews Live 5 July 2014 by Chengetai Zvauya
HARARE - Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services says a forensic audit into the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has been completed and the results will be out soon.
He said this while presenting oral evidence before the Parliamentary portfolio committee on media on Thursday.
Moyo told legislators that the State broadcaster was in the process of adopting a turnaround programme which includes a retrenchment exercise.
He said ZBC has 1 000 employees and half of them have to be laid off. ZBC is set to retrench 500 staffers to offset its debts and pay its workers as the State broadcaster continues to face financial challenges.
“We have received a preliminary report from KPMG auditing company and the final report is coming out this week. The report shall also be tabled in Parliament,” said Moyo.
Moyo briefed the committee chaired by Zanu PF MP for Umzingwane, William Dewa that he was aware of the problems that were affecting ZBC and was trying his level best to resolve them.
Moyo said ZBC, like most parastatals, had for years been mismanaged as evidenced by reports of massive looting and corruption by senior officials at the enterprise.
Moyo said workers at ZBC would be retrenched in a restructuring exercise meant to turnaround the public broadcaster that is saddled with a $44,3 million debt.
The corporation is technically insolvent as it is realising only $275 000 per month in revenue against a budget of $2,3 million of which $1,6 million should go to workers’ salaries.
Additionally, the broadcaster is in arrears of $8,3 million owed to the workers for outstanding salaries, while it also has to meet other statutory requirements.
This comes after government slashed astronomical wages of a bloated management that had been treating itself to opulence at a time workers went for seven months without pay.
The ZBC is currently headed by Allan Chiweshe in an acting capacity.
Parliament called for a probe into all parastatal’s and the urgent setting up of a commission of inquiry to probe all State parastatal’s following shocking disclosures of hefty allowances of heads of the quasi-government institutions.
Suspended chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere, was earning $40 000 a month in salaries and allowances.
He was sent on forced leave to pave way for a forensic audit.
In 2002, ZBC carried out a retrenchment exercise and laid off 400 employees.