via ZBC urged to pay workers salaries | The Herald October 29, 2013 by Tendai Mugabe
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo has said Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation workers should be paid their outstanding salaries backdating to May and hinted at the need for changes of senior managers at the national broadcaster.
Speaking to journalists after a day-long tour of ZBC Mbare and Pockets Hill studios in Harare yesterday, Prof Moyo said the national broadcaster’s management admitted that salaries required urgent attention.
Prof Moyo, who was accompanied by his deputy Cde Supa Mandiwanzira and the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Mr George Charamba, said the changes in managerial positions would bring new approaches to content production at ZBC.
“There is no reason why anyone should work and not be compensated or remunerated for the work that they do. That is very simple. You work for pay and that is one of the urgent issues that the management and the board acknowledge and that needs resolution or solution by yesterday.
“The purpose of our visit is to find out first hand on the ground what needs to be done on ZBC transition from its analogue-based studios to digital studios in anticipation of a wider migration from the analogue technology to the digital transmission technology.
“But we are also looking at substantive issues. It is not just about the changes that are necessitated by technology, it is also the fact that these changes will require new approaches to content production and that this requirement will take place against a background of quite some change of players, in the number of players – that we expect other players to come on board and we care a lot about ZBC because it is everyone’s broadcaster.
“It is a national broadcaster. It carries with it a national mandate and the discharge of national mandate from a broadcasting point of view is a serious matter that requires everyone involved – the so-called stakeholders – to put their heads together and have a shared vision about the way forward.”
Prof Moyo said he was expecting to hear more on ZBC’s way forward plans from the management. He said ZBC submitted to the ministry a comprehensive document of its challenges and proposed mitigatory measures.
“We are now looking forward to hear more about that submission, about what we have seen so that we can have a full picture when we sit as a ministry to reflect on the state of affairs at ZBC and the kinds of interventions on the part of Government to assist ZBC to discharge its mandate,” he said.
The ministerial tour began at Mbare Studios where the team was received by more than 20 managers from ZBC’s radio and television stations.
He jokingly asked, “what is this army for?” During the tour, the ZBC management led by its chief executive officer Mr Happison Muchechetere was unsettled and at times contradicted themselves on being asked specific questions.
Prof Moyo bemoaned the state of ZBC’s TV library which is outdated and stores information on VHS tapes. In this regard Prof Moyo said: “The difference between a tried and tested broadcaster and a fly-by-night broadcaster is archival base.”
As such, he recommended that ZBC should have an easily accessible, digital library. Prof Moyo commended one of the librarians at ZBC for opening her heart and tell him the truth about the state of affairs at the national broadcaster.
The female librarian was courageous enough to tell Prof Moyo in the presence of her senior managers that the system of recording information on VHS was outdated.
She showed Prof Moyo some recording books with missing pages where they keep some of the information.
“The only thing that I like about you is that you are honest,” said Prof Moyo. “You do not hide anything.”
Since his appointment in September, Prof Moyo has toured several newsrooms in the public and private media to get an appreciation of their operations.