Zim state broadcaster explains why Mugabe interviewer is still at work - report

2018-10-21 14:09
Robert Mugabe (File: AFP)

Robert Mugabe (File: AFP)

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The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has reportedly said that its head of news and current affairs was rehired by its board and government after he had made a deal to pay back the money he owed to the public broadcaster.  

Tazzen Mandizvidza - who was former president Robert Mugabe interviewer - was accused of "financial irregularities" that caused the ZBC "massive losses" more than four years ago, according to the state-run Herald newspaper

"ZBC claims the debt was never cancelled and that the court should now issue an order compelling him to pay $1 083 362, 09 with interest," the paper said.

The news executive conducted many of the annual birthday interviews with Mugabe in the last years of his rule.

Mugabe's birthday interviews were always painfully long and had to be aired in two parts on successive evenings on state TV.

Mandizvidza did Mugabe's 93rd birthday interview in February last year, just months before the veteran leader was ousted after a brief military takeover.

'Out of court settlement'

Mandizvidza was suspended from ZBC in late 2014 in the wake of the "Salarygate" scandal.

He, who was later rehired by ZBC, and was said to be earning nearly $27 000 per month, the private Standard newspaper reported at the time.

In an interview with New Zimbabwe.com, ZBC's chief executive officer Patrick Mavhura said the former Mugabe interviewer remained an employee at the public broadcaster because he had made a deal to pay back the alleged looted funds with the board. 

Mavhura reiterated that the case had never been resolved or closed hence it was now being revived.

He said Mandizvidza’s reinstatement at ZBC was on “good faith” that he would pay back the money.

“His (Mandizvidza) reinstatement was on the condition that he offered or availed a repayment plan, it was like an out of court settlement that has now resulted in a stalemate,” Mavhura was quoted as saying.

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Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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