By Never Kadungure (Political Editor)
Former ZBC journalist and newsreader Abigail Mvududu who was sacked by the state owned broadcaster in 2004 has now joined the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Mvududu whose contract with the Zanu PF mouthpiece was supposed to expire in August 2007 was dumped in January 2004.
In a statement issued on Thursday the MDC-T said Mvududu has now been appointed the MDC-T Director of Information and Publicity, with effect from 1 December 2011. “She takes over from veteran media practitioner William Bango, who has been running the department in an acting capacity for the past year.”
Mvududu worked for the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation from November 1996 to January 2004 in the reporters’ pool, the newsroom and the current affairs department. She was then appointed Head Radio and Television, a post she held until the time it was abolished in a restructuring exercise.
In June this year ZBC was ordered to pay US$186 000 as damages for premature termination of Mvududu’s employment. At the time she was sacked ZBC had agreed she would get salaries and allowances for 40 months and a car, but as it turned out she never received these benefits.
The ZBC is meanwhile challenging the decision in the High Court arguing that remuneration for Mvududu was in Zimbabwean dollars and it was not clear how that was converted into US dollars. Mvududu’s lawyers argued the High Court had no jurisdiction for the appeal and instead the Labour Court was the right forum.
Mvududu told the court that ZBC “forgets that the summary termination of my employment was prejudicial financially and I was traumatised by the unceremonious departure from such a prestigious position. Since then, I have never been able to get any other similar employment because the applicant (ZBC) is the only broadcaster in the country.”
The MDC-T meanwhile says Mvududu “brings with her a wealth of media experience which the party hopes to benefit from. She holds a BSc Honours in Politics and Administration from the University of Zimbabwe and a Masters in Business Administration from the National University of Science and Technology.”
There might however be a conflict of interest as Mvududu was reported by the Herald newspaper as a director in AB Communications, the company owned by the Zanu PF supporting journalist Supa Mandiwanzira. The company under Zi Radio was recently awarded one of two controversial commercial broadcast licences alongside ZimPapers Talk Radio.
Other board members on AB Communications were listed by the Herald as Farai Rwodzi, Bruce Mujeyi, Farai Matsika, Trust Dube and Pachawo Chipurira.
Meanwhile Nehanda Radio.com can also report that even Abigail’s husband Eric Mvududu also has a case before the Labour Courts after being sacked as the General Manager for the Agricultural Rural Development Authority (ARDA).
Eric Mvududu claims he lost his job because he opposed the controversial multi-million dollar ethanol project in Chisumbanje and Middle Sabi. We understand the courts have directed that ARDA reinstate him. Nehanda Radio.com