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Mutsvangwa comments on Zimpapers salary grievances


Mutsvangwa comments on Zimpapers salary grievances



MASVINGO – The Zimpapers salary grievances, which have seen journalists at The Chronicle, B Metro, Sunday News and uMthunywa declaring incapacitation in the hands of the Group’s board of directors and the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, can only intervene if the two parties fail to reach an agreement.
Minister Mutsvangwa said this in a written response to questions sent to her by The Mirror.
This week, journalists from Zimpapers Bulawayo branch, which prints the four newspapers declared incapacitation. They said they were not coming to work until their poor salaries were addressed. They are demanding minimum of US$550.
They said that their salaries are in RTGS is equivalent to US$150. The value continues to depreciate because of inflation, they added.
Efforts to get a comment from Zimpapers CEO Pikirayi Deketeke were fruitless as his mobile went unanswered.
Mutsvangwa said the board must solve the matter because that is one of its mandates. She said that if that fails, the workers can still involve the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) and thereafter the Ministry.
Government is the major shareholder in Zimpapers with 51% of the shares.
Last week, Vincent Kahiya, a veteran journalist and former Alpha Media Holdings CEO warned at a ZMC workshop in Kadoma that several media organisations may collapse before September owing to advertising revenue that has dropped by 75%. He described the state of the media industry as scary.
Mutsvangwa said the issue of waning fortunes for the media industry has not yet been raised with her. She said she is ready to look into the problems and deal with them media house by media house.
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) secretary general Perfect Hlongwane said the situation at Zimpapers Bulawayo Branch is dire as the three newspapers were understaffed and relied on students for the copy.
He said workers have exhausted internal remedies.
Journalists are buying their own data, allowances for extra duties were removed, there are no vehicles for assignments, and sometimes the company cannot even buy them ballpoints, said Hlongwane.
Zimpapers is the country’s biggest media organisation, with over 10 publications, a Television Station and several radio stations.

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