HARARE – The ZBC on Tuesday appointed a Zanu PF youth leader from Masvingo as acting CEO in a hasty re-organisation allegedly ordered by the ministry of information.

Charles Munganasa, a ZBC board member who is also the Zanu PF secretary for administration in the Masvingo Zanu PF youth league, will perform the dual roles until a substantive CEO is appointed.

He replaces Assael Machakata, the ZBC finance director who has been acting CEO since February following the suspension of Adelaide Chikunguru.

Meanwhile, Jackie Gwemende, who was appointed as acting head of news and current affairs just last month has been abruptly removed and replaced with Merit Munzwembiri, who will also be acting.

No reasons were provided for the changes.

The decision to make a Zanu PF official the face of the public broadcaster – which has failed to shed the tag that it is a Zanu PF mouthpiece – will fuel fresh controversy, especially after the government announced plans to raise US$100 million for the ZBC annually by making it mandatory for all motorists to pay a US$92 annual licence fee for car radios.

The latest changes at ZBC were ordered by the ministry of information, which maintains a tight grip on the state broadcaster, according to people familiar with the matter.

The president’s man … Charles Munganasa’s Facebook page features several pictures of himself with President Emmerson Mnangagwa