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Muchechetere wins $2m, blasts Moyo
27/03/2015 00:00:00
by Showbiz Reporter
 
Under fire over state of affairs at ZBC ... Jonathan Moyo
 
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THE Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) faces a liability of close to $2 million after former chief executive officer Happison Muchechetere won his arbitration case against the State broadcaster.

The development comes as the public broadcaster was forced to revise its US$58 million claims against Muchechetere members of his management team and former board chairman Cuthbert Dube

Muchechetere was awarded his full salary and benefits dating back to November 2013 when he was sent on forced leave.

He was ordered to leave the state broadcaster along with Dube after they were accused of incompetence, corruption and running down the financially crippled broadcaster by information minister Jonathan Moyo.

Before he was sent on leave, Muchechetere earned about $40 000 a month in salary and allowances.

His lawyer Lovemore Madhuku said Muchechetere would get all his money as his earnings were lawful.

“They (ZBC) were asked to pay his salary from the time he was sent on forced leave. He was earning a lawful salary and he will get that in full,” said Madhuku.

Muchechetere said he was surprised that before the results from the hearing were out, the information ministry was already making other allegations.

“We went for a hearing and we have not been told of the outcome and I am surprised they are making fresh allegations. I did not receive any paper and I am only learning of the lawsuit from newspapers. I do not have a single paper notifying me of that,” he said.

“It is more than two years now since I was sent on forced leave and I have not received anything so I am supposed to get my salary and benefits.”

Muchechetere said the ministry was trying to harass him after failing to prove a case against him.

“It is more than two years now and they are just coming after me. I do not know what this guy [Information Minister Jonathan Moyo] has against me. All this hullabaloo is unnecessary for me and the corporation,” he said.

“I have nothing against anyone and they should just leave these matters to rest because there is no case.

“No one else has said anything about this matter from the former minister and board, but only the current minister. I do not know what he wants me to do. Maybe just drop dead and he will be happy.”



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Muchechetere said the $58 million suit that was largely a ploy to keep delaying processes.

Meanwhile, ZBC has instructed its lawyers Scanlen and Holderness to withdraw the $58 million summons in order to remove the information ministry which was listed as the second applicant.

In the summons filed at the High Court on Wednesday, chief executive officer Happison Muchechetere, general manager news and current affairs Tazzen Mandizvidza, general manager finance Elliot Kasu, general manager radio services Allan Chiweshe and head of finance Ralph Nyambudzi, – who are all suspended – were listed as co-defendants with Dube.

The defendants, according to the summons, are accused of being reckless in their management of the entity and unjustifiably enriching themselves through hefty salaries and loans.

ZBC was listed as the first plaintiff in the application and the Information, Media and Broadcasting Services ministry as the second plaintiff.

But the broadcaster has been forced to remove the information ministry from the papers after it emerged that they had no instructions to represent it.

The public broadcaster also wants the lawyers to remove the name of Mandizvidza from the list of co-defendants because he had agreed to co-operate with the employers, and an out of court settlement was under way.

In a letter dated March 26 2015, ZBC chairman Father Gibson Munyoro told Scanlen and Holderness that the ministry had nothing to do with the case.

“We want to categorically state that we did not instruct the lawyers representing ZBC in the Muchechetere and others case to represent the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services,” he said.

“There is no privity of contract between Scanlen and Holderness and the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services. Therefore, it is wrong for the former to claim or intend to represent the latter in any way.”

Information minister Jonathan Moyo said Scanlen and Holderness had no authority to act for the ministry.

‘‘As far as we are concerned, Government commissioned a comprehensive forensic audit of ZBC in order to clean up the rot there once and for all,” said the minister.

“We don’t want that process to be contaminated by other irregularities on our behalf. We, therefore, insist that the correction of the mess be done in accordance with the strictest adherence to the rule of law.

“No one should act on our behalf without our instruction. We have our own lawyers and we do not use ZBC lawyers to act for us.’’


 
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