Gilbert Nyambabvu has left his role as director of digital and TV services at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation after nearly three years with the public broadcaster.
Nyambabvu said it was his decision to leave, a year after he was unexpectedly shunted out his previous job as the ZBC’s head of news and current affairs.
“I always meant to do between two and three years at the national broadcaster and then move on because I take the view that public service is a shared responsibility and no single individual can have all the answers,” Nyambabvu told ZimLive.
Reflecting on his time at the ZBC, Nyambabvu called it a “teaching experience.”
“You can’t learn from four CEOs in just under three years; the corporation is unique like that,” he said.
“I’m proud of one small but in my view hugely impactive initiative – we launched Ndebele for beginners lessons on the ZBC YouTube channel; a contribution to address one of the mischiefs of our country’s history.”
Nyambabvu was critical of the ZBC’s funding model.
“For our policy-makers, they need to understand that while the 1950s British concept of Public Service Broadcasting might have universal applicability, its funding model doesn’t,” he said.
“The BBC gets billions of pounds annually from licence fee collections because its viewers and listeners like to be compliant; our people on the other hand are just not minded to pay.”
Part of the ZBC’s problem, he said, is that while it is allowed to source for advertising, “the public utility content requirements imposed on the corporation have no commercial value and, therefore, little prospect of attracting advertising.”
Nyambabvu is expected to return to the UK where he will rejoin online publication New Zimbabwe.