Probe ZBC sex scandal – Lawyers

zbc_sex_scandalHARARE - Legal experts have said charges of sexual harassment levelled against senior officials at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings that runs ZBC are serious and should immediately be investigated by an independent commission.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) projects lawyer for public interest litigation, Zviko Chadambuka, said: There is clearly need for an investigation into these allegations. It should be appreciated that these are very serious allegations. Chadambuka told The Zimbabwean by email that comments attributed to ZBH chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere, made it highly unlikely that the victims could get justice through an internal investigation.

Muchechetere has publicly labelled the women complaining of sexual harassment prostitutes and stopped an internal enquiry that had been launched by human resources manager, Bernania Shumba. The female employees have raised charges against news and current affairs general manager, Tarzan Mandizvidza, reporters manager, OBrian Rwafa, and programming manager, Allan Chiweshe.

It is clear that there can be no justice through an internal probe in this case, Chadambuka said. Once the principal officers of the organisation says something that seems so tainted by a negative view of women, then an internal probe becomes useless as the management will obviously not allow an objective process to occur. There is little merit in any suggestion of an internal probe in this specific case.

The ZBC has been rocked for months by the scandal, in which female employees alleged that they were being forced to pay through sex with bosses to go on air or to perform other duties. Some of the women interviewed by The Zimbabwean claimed they were demoted or generally harassed after resisting the advances of the top officials.

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