STARFM general manager, Admire Taderera (pictured), has been sent on forced leave to pave way for investigations into the state of affairs at the radio station. Sources at the radio station, owned by media conglomerate, Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited (Zimpapers), said Taderera had come under fire from top management who questioned his managerial acumen given the declining state of affairs at StarFM.
The radio station has been incurring heavy losses since its formation in 2012 and has basically been feeding off other Zimpapers units.
“Taderera is just a popular radio presenter and disc jockey (DJ), not a manager. He has no managerial record and this can help explain the miserable situation at StarFM,” said the source. When contacted for comment, Taderera denied being sent on forced leave. He said: “It’s not a forced leave, it’s a normal leave.”
Zimpapers’ chief executive officer, Justin Mutasa, said Taderera was having a prolonged leave because he had accumulated numerous leave days. “We decided that all those senior managers with excessive leave days must proceed on leave and Taderera is one of them,” he said. When pressed to respond to reports of incompetence on the part of Taderera, Mutasa had this to say: “He who alleges must prove. What we know is that he is having his prolonged leave, which is necessitated by those leave days he had accumulated. He will be coming back to work on the 1st of October and I am telling you as someone who wrote the letter.”
Taderera is the founding general manager of StarFM. Zimpapers’ group information technology general manager, Darlick Marandure, is currently the acting general manager and has also been tasked with the responsibility of turning around the fortunes of the ailing broadcaster.
A passionate local radio legend with more than 25 years experience, Taderera joined StarFM as a general manager at its formation in 2012. Before joining StarFM, Taderera had worked for the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation as a radio presenter and DJ for 21 years from 1986 to 2007. He is also an experienced sports commentator.
Also under fire is the station’s marketing manager, Piwai Dzuda, who is being blamed for failing to attract enough advertisers to boost the financial capacity of the radio. This is not the first time that the broadcaster has axed some of its key staff. In August last year, former StarFM programmes manager, Tichafa Matambanadzo widely known as Tich Mataz, was relieved of his duties after being accused of defrauding the station of over US$125 000 by diverting its advertising revenue to two companies he had an interests in.