Zimpapers broke

BULAWAYO - Zanu (PF)'s propaganda machine Zimpapers Bulawayo branch, home to the Chronicle and Sunday News, is facing crippling cash flow problems.

Company management is proposing that the working week be reduced to three days, Chronicle staff report for duty three times a week and Sunday News reporters go to work on Fridays and Saturdays. Reporters at the state publications got paid between $7 and $11

billion, which is hardly enough to cater for two days transport. They are earning twenty times less than the lowest paid civil servant.

“Some of the other proposals were that the company gives out transport allowances on a weekly basis, but this failed as the general manager (Sithembile Ncube) claimed that the company was not making enough money. The financial manager said the money we were making weekly was not even sufficient to buy fuel. He said if the company bought fuel then employees would not be paid as the money raised daily by the company

was inadequate,” a source said.

Zimpapers’ titles have kept their cover prices artificially low, in a bid to further Zanu (PF)’s propaganda ahead of the presidential run-off.

State media is forced to carry Zanu (PF) advertisements, which are not paid for, while adverts for the MDC are rejected.

The Herald is reported to have offered to pay transport allowances for its workers, but with the failure of the Bulawayo branch to do the same it was agreed that it would be unfair for others not to get the privilege.

The Manica Post is reported to have offered its workers transport, but the issue at the Chronicle is said to have haunted them.

The Chronicle has been facing financial problems since the company broke its bank to buy a new luxury car for its general manager. Ncube also got a brand new engine to replace one she had damaged. Efforts to get a comment from Ncube were fruitless.

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