‘Tazzen Mandizvidza , Co-accused In US$6 million Fraud, Now ‘ZBC Head-News & Current Affairs ‘

THE state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has exposed as disingenuous claims by the Zanu PF government that it is committed to fighting corruption. The ZBC, which fired 300 workers last week, has announced that Tazzen Mandizvidza is now in charge of news and current affairs at the public broadcaster. Mandizvidza was one of the senior executives suspended over allegations they looted the financially crippled broadcaster of more than US$6 million. Others included then CEO Happison Muchechetere, Elliot Kasu (General Manager, Finance), Allan Chiweshe (General Manager, Radio Services) and Ralph Nyambudzi (Head of Finance). The executives helped themselves to properties in Harare’s posh neighbourhoods on company-backed mortgages while continuing to collect housing allowances from ZBC. An audit report presented to Parliament by former information minister Jonathan Moyo revealed that at a time ZBC was failing to pay ordinary workers, the executives were drawing thousands of dollars in advances. “Allowances that were outside contracts included amenities and retention allowances that were paid to the executives from 2009 to 2013 as follows; Muchechetere $400,895,92, Mandizvidza $254,452,71, Chiweshe $292,376,10, Kasu $292,376,10,” read the audit report. “At a time when ZBC was failing to pay its salaries between January 2013 and 31 December 2013, the top four management were withdrawing relatively significant amounts of money as salary advances as follows, Muchechetere $58,200, Kasu $50,985, Chiweshe $59,900, Mandizvidza $51,470,40 and Nyambudzi $64,947.” While the other managers have been fired, Mandizvidza was retained, supposedly because he turned snitch and betrayed his fellow looters. It remains unclear whether he has repaid the money and properties he irregularly helped himself to. According to a notice put up at ZBC’s main Pockets Hill base in Harare, Mandizvidza is the new head of news and current affairs. As part of the management rejig, Chris Chivinge is Mandizvidza’s junior as Chief Editor News Radio, Television and Online while Josephine Zulu is Acting Head Radio and Television. The changes were confirmed by acting chief executive, Patrick Mavhura. In other key appointments, veteran disc jockey Kudzi Marudza is now Acting Chief Producer at PowerFM while Innocent Manase and Tinashe Chikuse have similar positions at Radio Zimbabwe and SpotFM, respectively. Sources-newzimbabwe.

photo-President Mugabe being interviewed by Tarzan Mandizvidza on the eve of his 90th birthday in Harare

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