A dozen Zimbabwe journalists and broadcasters working for the Voice of America have been paid just over US$2 million by the United States government over the past eight years to broadcast news that the American taxpayer is not even allowed to hear.
Figures compiled by The Insider show that American taxpayers have paid US$2.1 million to 12 Zimbabwean journalists since 2004 when the Voice of America launched its propaganda radio station Studio 7 which broadcasts to Zimbabwe in the country’s three major languages: English, Shona and Ndebele.
The Voice of America is prohibited by law from broadcasting directly to American citizens to protect the American public from propaganda actions by its own government but VOA claims to be “a trusted source of news and information since 1942”.
The figures paid to the Zimbabwean journalists have to be disclosed under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act to provide the public with information about how their tax dollars are spent.
The government does not just disclose how much it paid each journalist but the number of contracts it entered into with the journalist and the address of the journalist at the time of signing.
A search by The Insider showed that there are at least one dozen Zimbabwean journalists being paid directly by the United States government.
Those identified by The Insider were: Marvellous Nyahuye, Christopher Gande, Blessing Zulu, Gibbs Dube, Sandra Nyaira, Kandemiiri Jonga, Praxedes Jeremiah, Ntungamili Nkomo, Sithandekile Mhlanga, Tatenda Gumbo, Brenda Moyo and Violet Gonda.
Topping the list was Praxedes Jeremiah who earned $311 893 followed by Christopher Gande with $266 264.
Marvellous Nyahuye was in third place with $253 955 followed by Blessing Zulu with $231 681.
Sithandekile Mhlanga was paid $209 120, taking fifth place followed by Kandemiiri Jonga who had $191 617.
Sandra Nyaira took seventh place with $161 801 followed by Brenda Moyo with $153 773.
Ntungamili got $139 270, followed by Tatenda Gumbo with $80 247, Gibbs Dube with $57 550 and finally Violet Gonda with $53 112.
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo first raised the issue that some journalists were stringing for Studio 7 in 2004 and some, including Sithandekile Mhlanga, were fired by their employers but this was scoffed at as Moyo’s propaganda.