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Local media houses like all other sectors of the economy continue fire workers with the Financial Gazette’s editor-in-chief Sunsleey Chamunorwa being the latest in a long list of causalities.
Owned by former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono, the Financial Gazette announced in its latest edition that it would cut staff by 35%, sending shockwaves across the industry.
Early this week, Alpha Media Holdings publishers of The Standard, NewsDay and The Zimbabwe Independent cut loose three journalists and almost 20 other support staff.
The latest job losses, in an already constricted media environment, were triggered by a Supreme Court judgment that gave employers power to fire workers on three months’ notice.
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe publishers of the Daily News and Daily News on Sunday as well as the obscure known Weekend Post last week fired a dozen journalists in the aftermath of the ruling.
Reports indicate State owned Zimpapers could follow suit.
Early this year, President Robert Mugabe’s self-confessed richest minister Obert Mpofu’s year old newspaper The Zimbabwe Mail folded, leaving more than 20 journalists and more than a dozen other support staff jobless.
Mpofu has since been dragged to the Labour Court with the case set to be heard before an arbitrator anytime next week, according to sources.
However Mpofu also tried to take advantage of the Supreme Court ruling that Mugabe has labelled an “ass”, writing to his former staffers “terminating their contracts” which have been running following the paper’s “temporary closure” on March 18.
Mugabe has called for caution in the use of the ruling that has left an already comatose economy reeling.
However, sources within government claimed that bar Mugabe’s public pontificating his Cabinet on Tuesday endorsed the ruling as part of measures to relax the country’s labour laws that have reportedly been sighted by investors as an impediment to investment. source-newzimbabwe