The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) this week wielded the axe on senior staffers, among them popular disc jockey, Kudzi Marudza and head of television, Josephine Zulu, in continuation of a staff rationalisation exercise that began over two years ago.
Acting chief executive officer, Patrick Mavhura confirmed the two were part of the latest group to lose their jobs.
“It was not an impromptu decision, but this was taken last year. These people have been holding dismissal letters that expired in November last year. In some cases, we actually had complaints of incompetence against others while in some there was gross unprofessionalism. Marudza was not a manager, but Zulu was,” he explained.
Mavhura, however, could not be drawn into providing the number of those that have been laid off in the latest wave.
“You will be aware that the institution has been going through a staff rationalisation programme for some-time now.
We also took advantage of the July 17, 2015 Supreme Court ruling to lay off workers in order to make sure ZBC is able to fulfil its salary obligations. At one time we went for seven months without paying salaries. It is a process that is part of addressing the challenges we have been facing,” the ZBC chief said. He insinuated Zulu, a veteran television producer, and Marudza were part of the old crop of staffers, who had remained at the broadcaster through the years, but had no requisite qualifications for their positions.
In the process of rationalisation, we also found out that some managers were not qualified for the jobs they were holding and we took a position that the entry qualification for all managers at ZBC is a degree and these people did not have that.
“We then decided to take a position that in the process we would be making room for qualified staff by getting rid of non-performers and those that did not have the requisite qualifications,” Mavhura said. He, however, said ZBC had made an undertaking to buy content that will be created by those who would have been laid off.
“We also realised that some of these people we are laying off are not necessarily going to sit at home. They have skills and we have urged them to get together and create content on behalf of ZBC ahead of the digitalisation project. They will, therefore, be able to make money from ZBC by providing content,” he said. The State broadcaster has been struggling and towards the end of 2013, government had to bail it out after it had failed to pay workers for seven months.