via Pair’s past not an issue, says Prof Moyo | The Herald February 20, 2014 by Felex Share
There is nothing wrong with the appointment of Dr Cleopatra Mutisi and Mr Gelfand Kausiyo to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation board as the two have the technical expertise necessary to turn around the fortunes of the national broadcaster; Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo said yesterday.
The so-called ‘tainted backgrounds’, Minister Moyo said, would not affect the pair’s professional integrity.
Minister Moyo’s comments followed media reports that the pair had ‘soiled histories’ that could force Government to wield the axe on them.
Dr Mutisi, who is wife to Brigadier General Francis Mutisi, faces a murder charge after allegedly ordering two men to assault her 13-year-old nephew whom she accused of stealing US$70. The teen succumbed to the beating.
Dr Mutisi was placed on remand for a year as the State is still to furnish her with a trial date.
Mr Kausiyo was in 2011, accused of plagiarism after he allegedly plagiarised an SABC technical report during a failed KissFM application for a national radio licence.
It was later established that the report was his own work.
But Prof Moyo, addressing journalists in Harare, said Government had no problem with the cases as there were no constitutional, administrative and/or moral issues arising from them.
“In trying to ensure that as a country we manage our public affairs correctly, we do not have to cause a siege mentality and start violating people’s constitutional rights and start presuming everyone is guilty until proven innocent,” he said.
“People have their rights as they are protected by the law. We are happy that Dr Mutisi has the relevant technical skills that are necessary to move ZBC forward with regards to financial budget development and general financial integrity’’.
He said Dr Mutisi had done an excellent job at the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority where she was also a board member.
“ZBC was doing a bad job with respect to the management of its financial services and needed someone who is very experienced and who manages their budgets and finances properly and she is good at that,” Prof Moyo said.
“There is no reason to think that there is anything happening which impedes here capacity to do that. The particular cases referred to in no way affect her integrity as a financial manager, which is what matters to us. We can’t wait for her to get started and look at those dirty books at ZBC and clean them up.”
The new 11-member board would be chaired by a respected Roman Catholic cleric and director of the Silveira House Father Gibson Munyoro.
On Mr Kausiyo, Prof Moyo said: “There is an experienced broadcasting engineer who has worked at ZBC and SABC and has an issue associated with plagiarism. Plagiarism has nothing to do with broadcasting but it might have something to do with writing. Moreover, one can not plagiarise his own work.
“That is not an issue to write home about because it has got nothing to do with his unquestionable experience as a broadcasting engineer.
He started at ZBC and he is our product. He has helped others excel and we want him to help us excel.”
Prof Moyo said the ministry was now handing over the daily and ‘hands-on’ oversight role to the new board.
He said it was pleasing to note that the necessary processes to address the challenges facing ZBC had been instituted.
“We are happy the process of instituting a forensic and strategy audit from 2009 to December 2013 has reached an advanced stage,” he said.
“There were eight well established and independent audit companies expressing interest in doing the forensic and strategy audit. The officer of the Comptroller and Auditor General is working with the State Procurement Board on that and are finalising their decision.
Added Prof Moyo: “We are happy we have a man of God chairing the board but we have not put a board made up of angels but human beings with all their weaknesses and imperfections.
“But while we are committed not to allow imperfections that affect the assignment we are not taking a holier than thou attitude and pretend that we ourselves have become angels fighting corruption. We are just human beings and we will not accept any suggestion of corruption directly related to the functions from which people are appointed.”
Father Munyoro said the board had a huge responsibility of dealing with the ‘injured’ image of ZBC and the damaged relationship between the national broadcaster and the public.
“I am aware of the expectations and fear of Zimbabweans and our duty is to give ZBC a new face and direction,” he said.
“It is scaring to lead a national broadcaster that almost everyone in the country is criticising.”
He urged the public to be supportive and patient with the new board.
“This is not a child’s play project and we will take one step at a time,” Father Munyoro said.