Harare - The Zimbabwe National Editors Forum (Zinef) has expressed deep concern following the sacking of more than 200 mainly journalists and media related employees in the country in one week.
This follows the expulsion of 109 Zimbabwe Newspapers Limited 1980 (Zimpapers) employees on Friday (yesterday), mainly journalists from the state owned Herald, The Chronicle, The Sunday Mail, The Sunday News, Manica Post and Star FM.
As that was not enough, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), the state broadcaster expelled its Chief Executive Officer Happison Muchechetere together with General Manager of Finance Elliot Kasu, Acting Head of Radio Allan Chiweshe and Finance Head Ralph Nyambudzi on Thursday.
Only last week, the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) ‑ publishers of Daily News and Weekend Post also sent away 11 employees comprising eight journalists and three sub editors.
The sub editors Sandra Mtetwa, Lizzy Miller and Albert Masaka were told to pack and go while journalists who became casualties comprised Lloyd Mbiba, Thelma Chikwanha, Margaret Chinowaita, Wendy Muperi, Ray Matikinye, Kudzai Chawafambira, Godfrey Mutimba and Nyasha Chingono.
Also Read: Trial due to open in Zimbabwe over Cecil the lion's death
Not to be spared of their jobs were Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) Publisher and Chief Chief Executive Officer, Rita Chinyoka with 11 journalists and 18 inserters from NewsDay, The Zimbabwe Independent, The Standard, The Southern Eye and Munn Marketing all lost their jobs.
Alpha Media Holdings is owned by Mail & Guardian Deputy Executive Chairman Trevor Bcube, who is also a Zimbabwean.
Reacting to the down spiral dismissal, Zimbabwe National Editors Forum acting chairman, Njabulo Ncube, said such spiral dismissals were not called for arguing that it was a serious cause for concern.
"The Zimbabwe National Editors Forum notes with concern the on-going trend where our members’ contracts are being terminated on notice.
While acknowledging the economy is in dire straits due to a myriad of problems, we are appealing to Media Houses and Publishers to exercise restraint by considering other options like reducing allowances and benefits and in some instances even lowering grades.
"We urge parliament to speed up the passing of a new Labour Bill which is sensitive to the interests of both the employer and employee,"Ncube said.
Ncube, who also lost his job at AMH appealed to publishers and employers to be lenient to the workers' plight as the country had already seen more than 6,000 workers from across the economic sectors retrenched in the month of July alone.
At AMH impeccable sources told CAJ News Africa that more journalists and other employees at NewsDay, The Standard, Zimbabwe Independent, The Southern Eye and Munn Marketing would be fired.
- CAJ News