Robson Mhandu suspended from ZBC over sexual harassment scandal
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has suspended its Director of Radio Services, Robson Mhandu, over allegations of sexual harassment.
Mhandu is accused of demanding sex from a female presenter in order to approve her transfer request from Bulawayo to Harare.
Audios have since leaked of Mhandu telling one Farai Juliet Magada, also known as Farie Jules, that she needed to “motivate me by work and number two, the obvious… it’s a combination of the two.”
“Tell me if you don’t want to do it and you’ll go back to Bulawayo.”
Magada asked Mhandu if her transfer was going to depend on sex and he responded saying, “we don’t separate the two.”
“I will send you to Bulawayo, I have the power,” he threatened.
Mhandu added that his sexual demands are “the practical realities of life.”
Magada asked if she was guaranteed a transfer if she gave him sex.
Mhandu responded: “It’s one million percent guaranteed… Remember you moved from Khulumani FM to Classic 263 on my signature MaMoyo. Your talk of guarantees is purely a sign of disrespect from a typical Zimbabwean woman.”
According to ZBC workers who spoke to ZimLive, Mhandu had an extensive history of demanding sex from female subordinates.
“This is just a tip of the iceberg. The ZBC should actually be conducting a wider inquiry, led by an independent panel. What they will find is a sickening sexual bullying culture that has permeated the organisation for many years,” one employee said.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Jenfan Muswere on Wednesday validated the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) media sector Sexual Harassment Draft Policy saying it would help rid the industry of sex perverts in the media sector.
“As government, we believe that we do not have a monopoly of knowledge and this is precisely why we are participating at this sexual harassment validation workshop,” he said.
“Of importance, as we develop the Sexual Harassment Policy that will take care of all the shortcomings that we have in terms of the gender policies in all newsrooms in the country, it is very important that we redefine what sexual harassment is.
“What is the scope? How do we triangulate that we have connected?”