Staff at the media company owned by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s adviser Trevor Ncube say the company has repeatedly promised to pay – promises which have not been kept.
Workers’ representatives confronted the CEO Kenias Mafukidze in his office on Monday this week. Then on Tuesday, the newspaper’s printers threatened to strike, and the company promised to pay salaries sometime on Wednesday.
Even as he promotes government propaganda that prices will go down after the government ended 10 years of dollarisation last month and made the Zimbabwe dollar the sole legal tender, Ncube recently doubled the cover price of his newspapers.
The price of the NewsDay daily and the weekly Standard is now ZW$4, while the Zimbabwe Independent business weekly is sold for ZW$6.
“The printers threatened to strike and the management promised to start paying today (Wednesday), but that’s highly unlikely,” a disgruntled journalist said.
The company has over 200 employees.
In March this year, AMH employees went on a go-slow over delayed salary payments.
Newspaper companies are struggling to stay afloat following the erosion of the value of the local currency with which they sell their newspapers, whereas they buy ink and newsprint in foreign currency.
The newspaper companies have deliberately suppressed their print runs to save on newsprint, short-changing advertisers.
AMH CEO Mafukidze had not responded to our questions at the time of publication.