Joseph Madzimure and Wallace Ruzvidzo
Government is committed to turning the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation (ZBC) into a profit-making organisation and the newly-appointed board should shun corruption as this is against the ethos of the Second Republic, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.
Speaking to the newly-appointed ZBC board members in Harare yesterday, Minister Mutsvangwa said Government will put all the necessary measures required to transform the ZBC.
“My ministry also commits to further ensure that ZBC does not become that unfortunate sibling whom everyone borrows from, but somehow never repay. What is owed to ZBC by sister Government institutions will be paid, and as your minister, I will give the necessary support.
“You will also be relieved to learn that the ZBC is making modest profits which you should work to increase.
“Let me hasten to warn you all that under the New Dispensation, there is zero tolerance to corruption.
“State enterprises are not used as feeding troughs for board members.
“Your appointments are an opportunity to serve, not to eat. Your work will be diligently supervised and any misgovernance will be dealt with,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
The ZBC board is chaired by Dr Josaya Tai, while other board members are Ambassador Thomas Bvuma, Tsitsi Dangarembizi, Heliate Rushwaya, Dorothy Mabika, Devnanda Popatla, Reverend Thompson Dube and Brian Mutangandebvu
Minister Mutsvangwa urged Dr Tai and his team to complete projects still in the pipeline.
“It is my hope that under your able leadership, the projects that you have inherited will be speedily completed.
“I look forward to a productive working relationship and wish you the best,” she said.
“Government plans to license around 24 television channels for both public and private players as part of its reform agenda of opening up, industrialising and democratising the media sector in Zimbabwe. Simply put, more players are going to enter the field and ZBC should position itself strategically in order to maintain its market share.”
She urged the newly-appointed board to work tirelessly to transform the national broadcaster.
“Indeed, there is need to pull up your socks and make sure that the ZBC transforms itself into a world-class broadcasting entity. Failure to do that, the ZBC runs the risk of becoming forgotten and irrelevant,” she said.
“It is your job ladies and gentleman to turn around this perception of the ZBC and ensure it lives up to its aspired state of being a professional, modern and entertaining mirror of Zimbabwe,” she said.
As a national broadcaster, Minister Mutsvangwa said, it was crucial that the ZBC aligns itself to the vision and efforts of those who desire to see the country prosper and flourish for the benefit of all Zimbabweans.
She urged the board members to stand guided by the ZBC Board Charter and said the ministry is committed to giving ZBC enough space to operate without undue interference.
“As a ministry, we are committed to giving space in which to operate without undue interference. We pledge to provide the required support, be it material, institutional or legislative, to ensure that you meet your set targets. In order to improve the operating environment, Government through my ministry, is in the process of repealing the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and amending the Broadcasting Services Act, to modernise and align them to the Constitution.
“This bedrock of reforms means yours is an easier task than that of your forerunners. You simply need to ensure that the ZBC adapts to the New Dispensation and is able to hold its mandate among other top broadcasters in the region and internationally.
“You should be cognisant of the fact that under these new laws, the freedom to establish broadcasting and other electronic media of communication is guaranteed, subject only to State licensing procedures,” she said.