ZBC in procurement scandals, as employees cry for better wages
Employees at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) are threatening to strike over poor salaries while accusing the organisation of flouting procurement procedures.
In a letter dated June 23, addressed to the company board chair, copied to board members, CEO and all members, the ZBC national workers committee are demanding better wages.
“As per our conversation on the 10th of June, you promised that we will receive an increment as of the end of June. Surprisingly, we had a meeting with Executive members yesterday and were told that there is no such increment this month-end,” read the letter.
“We are kindly asking your office to intervene as a matter of urgency before the employees receive their salaries. The employees have since lost trust and faith in the Executive as this development came hours after a letter from the Acting HR Director, Mr James Chiwera promising and ascertaining an increment for the month of June.
“In our deliberations, we noted that there seem to be 3 divisions within the organisation, namely workers, and 2 Executive groups. We noted that there are 2 consultants, IPC and Galloway, who were engaged for the same process through 2 different meetings, and the 2 have since been paid.
“This is bleeding the company as this could have been done following the ZBC HR Policy, Section 4 (Compensation and Policy and Procedures) and Labour Laws. These divisions are centred on arrogance and ego.”
The employees further stated they: Feel let down as they have not received their Covid-19 allowance for the past 4 months and there has been no communication from the executive even after several letters from the Workers Committee.
There were promises to pay the allowances in the local ZWL currency but this has not been done and several letters sent to the HR and the CEO’s office have not been responded to.
In a letter dated, 11 April 2022, the HR Director (A) said “due to the limited inflows of USD, Covid-19 Allowances will be paid in ZWL to the benefit of the employees,” since only one payment was done to cover the arrears for the month of February. We are kindly asking for the fulfillment of the promises.
“ZBC is the only organisation which is failing to honour the obligation to pay the Covid-19 allowance, at a time when the government is paying more than double the amount ZBC is failing to pay.”
They also made a follow up on a letter they sent to the board on the 13th of June 2022, which they said had not been responded to as yet.
The letter demanded the board to intervene and investigate allegations of mismanagement of funds and resources or abuse of office at the Corporation.
They stated “their welfare is being affected by the alleged mismanagement.”
Some of the grey areas raised include but are not limited to the following:
“Double dipping on fuel allocation by the executive.
“International trips T and S irregularities.
“Flouting of procurement procedures by the corporation.
“Inconsistencies in HR policy- Recruitment (Head HR and Director -Engineering posts).”
Employees added that “there is another issue that is circulating among employees of a roaming telephone bill of US$6 000 (within a week) at a time when Covid-19 allowances have not been paid for 4 months.
“We believe it is time we go back to basics and be guided by the ZBC policy (Risk Management Policy Section 4), and the Public Entities Corporate Governance Section 40, and the Public Finance Management Act Section 45.
“We remain hopeful and have faith that you will honour your promise to award ZBC employees with more than what the government can offer,” read the letter.
Contacted for a comment, ZBC Public Relations Specialist Rumbidzai Moyo said she no longer works for the national broadcaster.
Nehanda Radio understands the ZBC has since suspended Godfrey Maregere, the workers committee secretary general who circulated the explosive memorandum to the Board alleging – among other charges – mismanagement and abuse of funds.