HARARE – The ZBC has suspended without pay its head of news and current affairs, Tazzen Mandizvidza.
The ZBC said Mandizvidza had failed to honour an out of court settlement reached in 2015 in which the journalist, then on suspension, was to be re-instated and in return he would reimburse the state broadcaster over $1 million lost in bad financial transactions made under his watch.
In a letter dated October 23, the ZBC CEO Patrick Mavhura said the board had noted that the out-of-court settlement to recover $1,083,000 million had “yielded no results”.
“Given the gravity of the matter and the failure to make headway despite numerous endeavours to engage you by the board of directors, you are hereby placed on leave without pay and benefits with immediate effect pending determination of the issues that have arisen as a result of your acts of omission or commission which have prejudiced the corporation ,” Mavhura said in the letter.
Mandizvidza is barred from entering the ZBC premises except by prior arrangement. He was also ordered to hand in company property, including a vehicle.
Among other things, Mandizvidza reportedly owes ZBC money for irregular increment of his pay, double dipping on housing allowance, unauthorised accompanying of delegates on trips, irregular payment for a trip to India and irregular bereavement expenses.
The State-owned broadcaster, which has been drowning in debt for years, lost millions after several executives, including Mandizvidza, helped themselves to properties in Harare’s posh neighbourhoods on company-backed mortgages while continuing to collect housing allowances from ZBC.
Last week, ZBC filed papers at the High Court seeking to recover the money from Mandizvidza.