HARARE – Journalists at Alpha Media Holdings, owned by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s adviser Trevor Ncube, have gone on a go-slow, demanding a salary adjustment to match a recent re-pegging of the local currency to the United States dollar.
In February, the government abandoned its discredited 1:1 peg of the bond note to the US dollar by floating the transitional currency, now called the RTGS dollar, which was approaching 1:3 to the greenback on Thursday on the interbank market.
The industrial action, which began on Monday, has seen journalists at the media house submitting a single story per day against a contractual diary expectation of four.
AMH are publishers of NewsDay, the weekly Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard.
Sources at the media house told ZimLive a meeting with management was lined up for Friday.
“Our salaries were devalued when the government our publisher works for decided in February that it was devaluing our salaries by some 250 percent, while the cost of goods shot up,” one journalist said.
The mini-strike has exerted pressure on editors who are having to work extra-hard to maintain quality and continue producing newspapers.
Zimbabwean newspapers face foreign currency challenges. While they sell in RTGS dollars, they must source newsprint abroad and foreign currency is not easily accessible to newspapers at the official rate.