Gilbert Nyambabvu is a Zimbabwean journalist. In 2020 while working as ZBC head of news and current affairs, Nyambabvu was summoned by first lady Auxillia Mnangagwa for suspending her favourite cameraman.
Gilbert Nyambabvu holds a degree in English and Television Studies from Leeds Trinity University (UK), Master of Laws (LLM) from Leeds Beckett University (UK), and as of 4 January 2022, he is studying for an MBA with the University of Zimbabwe.
On 4 January 2022, Destiny Media Group (DMG) announced Nyambabvu's appointment as the group chief executive. DMG incorporates Destiny Media, Destiny Events, NewZim TV, and NewZimbabwe.com with operations in both the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.
The appointment marked Gilbert Nyambabvu’s return to DMG after previously serving as NewZimbabwe.com editor before joining the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) executive director of digital and television services.
Speaking after leaving ZBC, Nyambabvu said it was his decision to leave, a year after he was unexpectedly shunted out of his previous job as the ZBC's head of news and current affairs.
Nyambabvu also criticised the ZBC’s funding model saying:
"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. 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."
He added that while ZBC is allowed to source for advertising its content requirements imposed on the corporation have no commercial value and, therefore, little prospect of attracting advertising. He said the government must fully fund ZBC.
Time At ZBC
In August 2020 he was removed as ZBC head of news and current affairs after he was summoned by the first lady Auxillia Mnangagwa who hectored him for half-an-hour after he had suspended her favourite cameraman Stan Marodza.
The cameraman was suspended after causing the broadcasting of a video clip showing President Emmerson Mnangagwa receiving a donation of Covid-19 masks and PPEs from Delish Nguwaya whose company Drax International which was at the time in the news after it was irregularly awarded tenders worth over US$60 million for medical supplies.
ZBC’s senior editorial team had decided that the clip would not run, believing they were shielding Mnangagwa from an already raging controversy over how Drax was awarded tenders.
Three days later, however, Marodza allegedly saw an opportunity when most senior editorial gatekeepers were absent and caused the clip to run on the main news. Government spokesman Nick Mangwana originally backed Nyambabvu. On June 23 2020, Nyambabvu was summoned by Auxillia Mnangagwa who was critical of the original decision not to run the clip, and the subsequent decision to suspend the cameraman.
A colleague who was privy to Nyambabvu's meeting with the first lady told ZimLive:
Nyambabvu was fired five times in that meeting. The first lady was surrounded by 15 or so men, security types, and didn’t give him a chance to put a word in. She completely went bananas.
- Mary Taruvinga, Nyambabvu Joins Destiny Media As Group CEO, NewZimbabwe.com, Published: January 4, 2022, Retrieved: January 5, 2022
- Gilbert Nyambabvu quits ZBC, criticises its funding model, ZimLive, Published: January 5, 2022, Retrieved: January 5, 2022