What's what?

Claims by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation acting director general, Christopher Mutsvangwa, that all is well and there is an "insodus" as opposed to an exodus of staff may not be entirely correct. That there are problems at the parastatal cannot be doubted.

Like all other media organisations the ZBC seems to have developed a loyalty syndrome where the current boss builds a circle of loyalists around him getting rid of those believed to have been favourites of the previous boss.

Obviously this disrupts the smooth running of any organisation and has in many cases proved disastrous when there is another change of leadership. More experienced people are sacrificed and replaced by loyalists who may not entirely know what they are doing.

Because of problems, the ZBC continues to be a heavy borrower. In its own adverts encouraging people to buy a licence, it claims there are over 1 million people with receivers. If each paid just the new radio licence fee the corporation raises a cool $25 million. Add to that the advertising revenue then you get a healthy profitable organisation but this does not appear to be the case.

As of June 30 the ZBC had long term loans from the government totalling $41.2 million. In the current budget it was allocated a further $8.5 million in grants and subsidies.

Of this sum $2 million is for losses for past years and the estimated loss for 1991-92, $4 million is for operating expenses of Television Two and $2.5 million for operating expenses of Radio Four. A further $260 000 was allocated for the acquisition of motor vehicle s for Television Two. The corporation was also granted a loan of $6 million.

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