Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) employees have appealed to government to pay half of their salaries in United States dollars to cushion them against the country’s runaway inflation.
ZBC workers committee chairperson Maushe Mutetepi yesterday told Parliament that 50 members of staff quit last year due to low salaries, adding that the brain drain was likely to escalate.
Mutetepi told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services that the State broadcaster had now become a training ground for other media houses due to the measly salaries paid by ZBC.
“Staff retention and understaffing are a serious issue. Last year, 50 employees left ZBC. From our engineering department, eight left. Some are on exit as we speak and the major reason is remuneration. They are just using their leave days,” Mutetepi said.
“When you look at what others are getting elsewhere and across the border, you will see that mine is just a title with empty pockets. It’s a title to say he is an engineer at ZBC, but what do you have to show for that? With the proliferation of broadcasting houses, ZBC is just being used as training ground.”
He said while workers got salary increments recently, these were calculated using the November interbank rate and were gobbled up by inflation and price increases.
“We are kindly asking Parliament to help us get a US dollar component on our salaries because most bills such as rentals and transport are now pegged in US$.”
He told legislators that the minimum wage at ZBC was $188 000.
The ZBC workers also said they wanted to be allocated land to carry out various farming projects to sustain their families.
“The majority of ZBC employees don’t have houses and the biggest part of welfare is accommodation.”
Information committee chairperson Sipho Mokone said when ZBC management appeared before Parliament, they should have raised issues pertaining to workers’ welfare.