Zimpapers CEO Mutasa ‘forced’ out

via Zimpapers CEO Mutasa ‘forced’ out. 01 October 2014

THE government early this week reportedly cracked the whip at state-owned media group, Zimbabwe Newspapers forcing chief executive officer Justin Mutasa to step down.

Mutasa leaves with two years remaining on his contract, meaning he can expect a pay-off from the company which is majority-owned by the government and listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).

The development continues a purge of the editorial and management ranks in the state media that has also targeted the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).

Mutasa was mum when contacted for comment.

“Wait a little. Just be patient and in a day or so there should be a clearer picture of what is happening. I would also like to comment then maybe tomorrow around 4pm,” said Mutasa.

Zimpapers however, later issued a statement confirming his exit.

“The Zimpapers board chairman, Dr Charles Utete announces the departure on early retirement of the company’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Justin Mutasa and the Group Financial Director, Mr Adolf Majome with effect from 30 September, 2014,” the company said.

“Mr Justin Mutasa offered to go on early retirement before the expiration of his contract. Mr Majome’s contract of employment expired early this year and he opted not to renew it.

“Mr Mutasa and Mr Majome had been with the company for 12 and 11 years respectively. The Board wishes them well in their future endeavours.”

Zimpapers plunged to a $1,417 million loss after tax in the half-year ended June 30 from a positive outturn of $358,000 the previous year as revenue tumbled due to high finance costs and a worsening economic environment.

The company runs 12 publications, a commercial printing press, a radio station and two digital platforms.

Revenue declined by six percent to $21 million in the prior year while gross profit also declined to $16,2 million from $16,5 million.

The Zimpapers chief is reportedly related to Zanu PF administration secretary Didymus Mutasa who is allegedly at loggerheads with information minister Jonathan Moyo.

The Zanu PF administration head is rooting in Vice President Joice Mujuru’s corner while Moyo is fighting in Justice Minister and Zanu PF legal chief Emmerson Mnangagwa’s corner.

Mujuru and Mnangagwa are alleged to be leading contenders to take over from Mugabe and the fight to control Zimpapers has taken centre stage.

Accusations of abusing the state media have now been levelled against Moyo and the Mnangagwa group as knives have been sharpened ahead of an elective congress set for December.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 5
  • comment-avatar
    revenger avenger 8 years ago

    Caesar zvayi at work or fatso Reuben bar we the hippo ? Great news all round. Suffer boy. Suffer

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    Terry Hwesa 8 years ago

    Is this Justin Mutasa the same fellow who stood for the first “democratic” elections in 1980 on a ZANU ticket. If he is he suddenly became more ZANU(PF) than the owners of the country.

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    ZIMPAPERS – majority owned by Zimbabwe Government and Old mutual PLC.
    Just lost about USD 1.4m – what above article does not tell you is that this company is almost bust – has fixed assets of 29m and liabilities of 31m – in the liabilities is borrowings from FBC bank of 6m that they pay 18% on – yes 18% on a USD borrowing ! – also another disturbing feature is that the company is having to borrow from its own pension fund – USD 4.6 million in order to stay afloat. It does not say if the Pension fund is receiving 18% on its cash.
    Observation – a pensioner or potential pensioner in this organisation will never see his pension money. Who are the auditors as no mention is made of that small problem.
    Looks like ZIMPAPERS will go like all other parastatals in ZW – broke !

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    farai 8 years ago

    What interests me is $21m revenue, $16m gross profit then $1.4 m loss! That equals some serious executive perks or financing costs! Mutasa’s dismissal, long overdue.
    Is there any relative of Didymus without a high profile position in society? Even Themba with his one “O” level pass has self actualised!

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    ZPF is finished! MDC must take this opportunity and just push this evil party over the cliff now when it is vulnerable. There is a faction in ZPF supporting MDC and this is the dangerous one. Anywhere what is dangerous to ZPF must be a good to the nation.