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The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation has suspended two employees over their failure to make a live broadcast of the burial of Zanu-PF Politburo member and national hero Dr Stanley Sakupwanya. Dr Sakupwanya was buried on Sunday at the National Heroes Acre at a ceremony presided over by Vice President Joice Mujuru in the absence of President Mugabe who was away on official business.

ZBC suspended its production manager Clifford Mfiri and television manager Emma Shamuyarira. Sources last night said the two were suspended to pave way for investigations.

ZBC acting chief executive officer Mr Allan Chiweshe was unreachable last night, while head of news and current affairs Tazzen Mandizvidza said he was not authorised to comment.

Sources at Pockets Hills, however, said Shamuyarira was suspended for disrupting the delayed broadcast of the burial of Dr Sakupwanya when she slotted the lunchtime news midway through the burial.

“That was a wrong decision. She failed to exercise good judgment because even those at home would know that it was not a live coverage. You do not do that under such circumstances,” said the source.

Another source said the suspended duo argued that it was not possible to make a live broadcast because the airspace of the satellite link was already booked for the duration of the World Cup.

“One option for one to carry live coverage whenever you want it is to pay a monthly subscription of US$15 000 and that money would just go down the drain if you don’t carry live coverage that month.

“It goes without saying that it cannot be an option that ZBC could take because of the inherent costs. Another option was to book, which we have always done but in case, the airspace was already booked for the World Cup,” said the source.

Source : The Herald