ZBC manager suspended over sadza theft


THE penny literally dropped recently for a ZBC canteen manager after he was caught selling subsidised company grub to farmers at Boka Tobacco Auction Floors for more than double its price.

Gabriel Mudariki has since been suspended from the public broadcaster.
Canteen food is heavily subsidised at the ZBC to assist poorly paid workers who sometimes go for months without salaries.

Management also introduced an arrangement whereby workers can feed on credit, paying at the end of the month, or whenever they get their salaries.

A plate of Sadza and stew at ZBC's Pockets Hill canteen was said to cost US$0.50. Mudariki was said to be buying dozens of the portions and re-selling them for $2.00, making a decent profit of $1.50.

The racket however, came to light when dismayed canteen staff tipped off security personnel as Mudariki was about to leave Pockets Hill with his loot.

Mudariki was stopped at the main gate and found with 80 kerlites (disposable fast food plates) full of sadza and beef stew in his vehicle.

Questioned about the food, Mudariki claimed he was taking the rations to Radio Zimbabwe's Mbare studios since they had visitors on the day.

Security personnel manning the check point allowed him to proceed but dispatched another detail to trail him.

They also phoned head of radio services Chris Chivinge to verify the information with Radio Zimbabwe. It was then discovered that Mudariki was lying.

Guards who trailed Mudariki to Boka Auction Floors found him selling the food portions to tobacco farmers for $2 a plate and pocketing the cash for his own use.

ZBC public relations manager confirmed Mudariki's suspension but could not be drawn into commenting about the sadza theft allegations.

"He (Mudariki) has been sent home for managerial issues and he will be called upon to appear and answer some charges at a disciplinary hearing to be conducted soon," said the official.

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