Minister takes out axe

Information and publicity minister, Ambassador Tichaona Jokonya said this at a media briefing in Harare this week where he announced the start of his ministry’s plans to revitalise operations at the broadcasting concern.

Ambassador Jokonya said that there was no need for the public broadcaster to retain what he termed “dead wood” at the company as there was no place for such people in the new dispensation.

Said Jokonya: “We are not going to retain deadwood, they will have to go. I am not however going to dwell much on this fall out. My feelings are that we are not going to lose too much people.”

First to suffer the dreaded blow was the ZBH board, which, according to the minister, was comprised of 25 board members who oversaw the operations of nine Strategic Business Units (SBU’s).

The Strategic Business Units dissolved are the youthful Power FM, sports channel, Spot FM, On Air Systems, Zimbabwe Television, Radio Zimbabwe, National FM, Newsnet, Sportnet and Transmedia.

In the new structure, Minister Jokonya said there would be only nine board members but said that his ministry was still in the process of coming up with the board members.

From the nine companies, the minister said only two companies had been formed, namely Zimbabwe Television Services and Radio Services.

One group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and two managing directors would manage the two companies under the new dispensation.

He also indicated that should some of the staff fail to get accommodated in the new and leaner structure, his ministry (of Information and Publicity) would be at hand to take on board some of the affected staff members but said they should be performers.

The dissolution of ZBH’s subsidiaries follows recommendations made by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Communication, which indicated that there was an urgent need to review the company’s operations and also come up with a strategy that would ensure viability in the state broadcaster.

The company is currently faced with a judgment by an independent arbitrator that compels it to award its employees a salary increment pegged at between 150 and 200 percent.

However, ZBH, sources said, had only hinted that it would award its employees an increment on a sliding scale basis with special emphasis being placed on positions that the employees occupy.

June 2006
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