A FRESH scandal has rocked the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) amid reports an internal audit has exposed Acting CEO Wisdom Hombarume’ s dishonesty and financial indiscipline, the Zim Morning Post can exclusively reveal.
Sources told the Zim Morning Post that the ZBC board called for an internal audit of Hombarume’s foreign trips after he claimed for funds to attend a conference in Botswana but instead went to South Africa for private business.
Information at hand shows that Hombarume was cleared to attend a SADC TV Channel and post DTT migration workshop in Botswana.
Processes to secure his flight tickets and hotel bookings were done but Hombarume decided to go for a private business trip to South Africa.
The scandal has also sucked in Acting finance director Maxwell Judah who facilitated the procurement of the air tickets.
“A payment of US$ 1,244.00 towards the purchase of an air ticket of Hombarume was made on 30th of January 2020,” said the source who is one of the board members.
“Hombarumbe was scheduled to travel to Botswana on Saturday 8 February via Johannesburg.
“Everyone thought he had managed to go to Botswan during the said period because he was not in the country.”
“His absence from the workshop came to light when Zimbabwe failed to be represented in the CEOs meetings at the said workshop.
“ZBC authorities began to look for him and at the material time he kept telling them he was in Botswana,” said the source adding that “It was until on March 9 that he revealed that he did not attend the workshop.”
Another board member said during the audit interviews Hombarume said he had diverted the funds, $6700, meant for the Botswana trip, to reparing ZBC equipment in South Africa.
However, the board member said, Hombarume failed to provide documentation and invoices for the repairs he had done.
Hombarume also claimed to have bought some microphones but he failed to provide the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) declarations upon which the board accused him of having smuggled the microphones into the country.
In his defence Hombarume said some of the funds meant for the Botswana trip were used to fund another trip to South Africa where he was invited by the Star Media between February 19 to 22.
Insiders said he went to South Africa in the company of Gilbert Nyambabvu and Tapiwa Mudzamba.
However, a ZBC board member dismissed Hombarume’s explanation saying the South African trip was wholly funded by the Star Media.
“The invitation was by the Star Media and the hosts offered to provide air tickets and accommodation so the excuse that the funds were used during this trip does not hold water.”
In another case Hombarume is accused of giving himself RTGs 100 000 holiday allowance at the time the national broadcaster is failing to pay its employees.
“Everything that is happening at ZBC is pointing to lack of leadership by the board. The chairperson is supposed to provide leadership and discipline the management.
A ZBC employee said everyone was wondering why the board chairperson Josaya Tayi was failing to act and discipline the Acting CEO.
“There is no action from the chairperson and now everyone thinks the CEO is ‘greasing his palms’ to keep quiet.”