via ZBC asks for reprieve | The Herald October 30, 2013 by Tendai Mugabe
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation management has asked for a 14-day reprieve from Government to fully explain the challenges affecting the national broadcaster and to proffer sound mitigatory measures.
This was revealed by Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo after touring New Ziana media facilities in Harare on Tuesday.
As such, Prof Moyo said, Government would only take action on ZBC in the next two or so weeks after gathering all the details.
Prof Moyo spent an arduous seven hours touring the ZBC Mbare and Pockets Hill Studios on Monday and took another three hours in a closed door meeting with the management on the same day.
Speaking to officials from New Ziana after his tour of the institution Prof Moyo said ZBC was of critical national importance and as such measures should be instituted to ensure its viability.
“The board and the management in the end felt that they needed at least another 10 to 14 days to go through the various issues that they need to go through,” Prof Moyo.
“So, no one should expect anything today or tomorrow from our interaction with ZBC yesterday (on Monday) but should expect something over the next two or so weeks.
“It was exceedingly productive and very useful and the fact that they (ZBC) need extra time to do more work is a product of that interaction we had with them.”
Prof Moyo said his interaction and engagement with ZBC was productive and created more work for the ZBC board and management and the Government.
ZBC is facing serious challenges and has failed to pay workers since May, although there are reports of lavish life styles by the management.
Turning to New Ziana, Prof Moyo said the country’s only national news agency had great opportunities to explore.
He said New Ziana was the only media house that had a strong foothold in all the country’s provinces except the metropolitan provinces of Harare and Bulawayo.
“You are the only institution that has serious presence that can only grow in our provinces,” he said. “You are the only media house we have visited which has titles in each of our eight administrative provinces and that counts for something quite significant.”
Prof Moyo said New Ziana was Zimbabwe’s international gateway to the world and it executed that mandate exceptionally well in recent years.
He said it was important to revive the news agency for it tell the Zimbabwean story.
“I am looking forward to us this afternoon discussing this in terms of the opportunities that lie ahead in that regard – the need to revive New Ziana as the source of news about Zimbabwe on Zimbabwe – to tell the Zimbabwean story to international audiences in such a way that anybody who wants to have anything to do or to know about Zimbabwe should not be able to do so without checking you.”
Prof Moyo said he was encouraged that New Ziana’s vision was focusing on electronic platforms, including television and radio.
He said New Ziana should count on Government’s support to succeed in that area.
Prof Moyo was accompanied on the tour of Ziana by his deputy Cde Supa Mandiwanzira and the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Mr George Charamba.