Newly-appointed Media and Information permanent secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana yesterday received a baptism of fire when he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media chaired by Prince Dubeko Sibanda (MDC Alliance).

Mangwana and bosses of parastatals under his ministry, including the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), Transmedia, New Ziana, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Zimpapers and Zimbabwe Television and Film School of Southern Africa, had a torrid time explaining how they used funds this year.

The team had not brought financial records to show how the fees they collected were used, resulting in MPs warning them it would not be business as usual and that Parliament would not tolerate institutions which fail to account for public funds.

“We are not going to tolerate publicly funded institutions to come before Parliament without audited statements,” Sibanda said.

“You have just been eating and not showing how you have been spending and we need those audited figures by Monday next week.”

Mangwana was roasted over errors in amounts in his report, including in the 2018 Blue Book where the ministry said it had embarked on a digitisation programme whose progress was at 35% and was given an additional $16 million.

But Mangwana told the committee that to date, the progress was at 36%, which meant that only 1% more work was done with the $16 million.
Mangwana said it was an error in the Blue Book, which did not impress the MPs.

There was another error pointed out by MPs in the salaries figures, and the numbers showed that allowances were far much more than salaries. The explanation was that bonuses were considered as allowances.

BAZ CEO, Obert Muganyura said the authority had raised $1,1 million in fees in 2018 and got about $82 000 from rentals, but did not give details on how the money was used.

Makonde MP, Kindness Paradza (Zanu PF) then demanded that Zimpapers also produce audited accounts showing whether they were declaring dividends to government by Monday.

Florence Sigudu-Matambo from Transmedia angered MPs by bringing the 2017 audited accounts.

“We have 20% shareholding at MultiChoice Africa. Last year (2017), we had a relationship with Kwese and raised $568 907 as income,” Sigudu-Matambo said, which resulted in Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya (MDC Alliance) saying her 2017 figures were irrelevant as the MPs were interested in the 2018 figures.

Harare Central MP Murisi Zwizwai (MDC Alliance) then demanded to know from Mangwana how much ZBC was making from live broadcasts of political parties, especially the receipts of the last six months in the new dispensation.

Mangwana said digitisation was allocated $45 million, while $100 million was needed. The team was asked to make another appearance next week with proper documentation.

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