By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
07 January 2014
An on-going staff vetting exercise at the ZBC has revealed that some deceased and ex-staff members are still in the company’s pay roll.
Reports this week said the verification has so far shown that among those on the pay roll were people who either died or quit the state broadcaster about a decade ago.
According to a weekend NewsDay report Douglas Rinomhota (who died in 2007) and Robert Tapfumaneyi (who left in 2011) as well as ex-news caster Sugar Chagonda, were amongst the ghost workers exposed so far. Also on the list were former technical operator Collin Muduwa and former radio producer Perfect Hlongwane who both left the ZBC in 2005 and 2012 respectively.
The report quoted a ZBC worker saying Tapfumaneyi’s name indicated that he had received advance payments of up to $ 800 while Rinomhota was shown to have received $100 as advance payment just before the festive season.
The exercise, which is being supervised by the Ministry of Information, arose as a result of the government chipping in to bail out the state broadcaster. As the ZBC was struggling to pay its employees it emerged that the top management were being paid astonishingly high salaries.
Since stepping in, the government has forced the top management to take salary cuts and sent Chief Executive Happyson Muchechetere on leave. The salaries which amounted to $8 million were finally paid last week.
According to NewsDay, sources attributed the ZBC rot to a management crisis which saw the salaries department being deliberately kept in the dark about workers who were no longer with the company.
ZBC spokesman Gladman Bandama denied the reports, saying the only deceased person who was still on the pay roll was the late executive producer Sheila Mahlatini, who died in October last year.
However, Transparency International Zimbabwe Chairman, Loughty Dube attributed the developments at the ZBC to ‘lack of accountability’. Dube told SW Radio Africa that the ZBC should be made to publish audited financial statements every year to minimize corruption.
He added: “ZBC is accountable to corrupt government officials. If it was operating as a true public broadcaster it would account to Parliament on how it uses public funds but that is not the case at the moment.”