Robson Mhandu Biography
Robson Mhandu is a Zimbabwean journalist known for his work in the media industry. He has garnered attention both for his professional achievements and for a recent controversy involving allegations of sexual harassment, particularly in relation to Farai Juliet Magada, a female employee within the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). This biography provides an overview of his life and career, including his educational background and professional journey.
Age & Date of Birth
Robson Mhandu’s age and date of birth could not be ascertained from publicly available documents at the time of printing.
Robson Mhandu’s Personal Life, Wife and Children
Mhandu, a member of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, is married to Patience and the couple has four children, two boys and two girls.
Robson Mhandu received his education from various institutions:
- Primary and Secondary Education: He attended Kwenda and Sadza secondary schools for his Ordinary Level education.
- Advanced Levels: He furthered his education at Harare High School for Advanced Levels.
- University: He graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with a BSc Honours in Sociology degree in 1990.
- Master’s Degree: In 2002, he obtained a Master’s in Business Administration degree from Success Institute in South Africa.
- Certificates: Between 1997 and 2012, he earned several certificates in media and management.
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Robson Mhandu Career
Robson Mhandu has had a diverse career spanning various sectors:
- Media Career (1991-2010): Mhandu worked for the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) for nearly two decades, initially joining as a junior officer and rising to middle management. He ultimately left ZBC as a general manager.
- Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (2010): He joined the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) as the head of marketing and corporate services.
- Kalamazoo Business Systems Group International (2012): In 2012, he was engaged by Kalamazoo Business Systems Group International.
- Zimbabwe Open University: Mhandu also worked as the Director of Marketing and Business Development for the Zimbabwe Open University.
- Return to ZBC (2018): In September 2018, Mhandu rejoined ZBC as Director of Productions and Television Services.
Mhandu has been involved in politics, particularly in support of the Zanu-PF party:
- Zanu-PF Affiliation: He joined Zanu-PF in 1983 while at Kwenda Mission and actively participated in Zanu-PF youth activities in Chitungwiza and at the University of Zimbabwe.
- Seke 1 District Executive: After leaving ZBC in 2009, Mhandu was co-opted into the executive of Seke 1 District in Chitungwiza, Harare Province, and held the position of secretary for finance for the district.
- 2013 Elections: In the 2013 elections, Mhandu competed as a Zanu-PF candidate for the Chitungwiza North Constituency but was unsuccessful.
Robson Mhandu became embroiled in a significant controversy involving allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace, particularly in relation to Farai Juliet Magada, a female presenter at ZBC. The following details shed light on this controversial incident:
Suspension from ZBC
In September 2023, Robson Mhandu was suspended from his position as Director of Radio Services at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). This suspension came as a result of accusations made against him by Farai Juliet Magada, a female employee within the organization.
Allegations of Sexual Harassment
Mhandu faced allegations of demanding sexual favours from Farai Juliet Magada, also known as Farie Jules, who had requested a transfer from Bulawayo to Harare. It was during the handling of this transfer request that the allegations of sexual harassment emerged.
Recorded Conversations and Messages
The controversy was compounded by the existence of audio recordings and WhatsApp messages that were shared as evidence of Mhandu’s alleged misconduct. These recordings and messages played a crucial role in substantiating the claims made against him.
- Audio Recordings: Two audio recordings, one lasting 18 minutes and another lasting 3 minutes, captured conversations between Mhandu and Magada. In these recordings, Mhandu is heard pressuring Magada and making explicit remarks related to the transfer request.
- WhatsApp Messages: Additionally, 14 screenshots of WhatsApp messages were presented as evidence. These messages featured persistent advances and explicit language from Mhandu as he continued to pester Magada for sexual favors.
Threats and Coercion
Throughout the recorded conversations, Mhandu was heard making threats and using his position of authority to pressure Magada. He suggested that her transfer request depended on her compliance with his demands and even claimed to have the power to send her back to Bulawayo if she refused.
Denial and Determination to Fight
Despite the mounting evidence, Mhandu remained defiant and expressed his intention to contest the sexual harassment charges. He indicated his willingness to participate in an internal disciplinary hearing scheduled for the following month, where he would defend himself against the allegations.
Calls for a Wider Inquiry
The controversy surrounding Mhandu prompted calls for a broader investigation into the workplace culture at ZBC. Employees at the organization expressed concerns that the incident involving Mhandu might be just one instance of a more extensive problem related to sexual harassment within the company. Some suggested the need for an independent panel to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the matter.
The controversy also drew attention from the government, as Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services Minister Jenfan Muswere attended a workshop addressing sexual harassment in the media industry. Minister Muswere acknowledged the seriousness of sexual harassment as a violation of human rights and pledged the government’s commitment to addressing such issues in the workplace.
As of the suspension and allegations, the controversy surrounding Robson Mhandu remained unresolved, and the matter was set to proceed to an internal disciplinary hearing. The outcome of this hearing would determine the consequences Mhandu would face in response to the allegations of sexual harassment.
The information provided in this biography of Robson Mhandu is based on various news sources. Here are the detailed references for the information presented:
- “ZBC suspends Robson Mhandu in bombshell sexual harassment probe” – zimlive.com, Desmond Makondora
- “Robson Mhandu suspended from ZBC over sexual harassment scandal” – nehandaradio.com, Staff Reporter
- “‘I Want To Maul You’ Shumba Robson Mhandu Caught Requesting For Bota In Damning Leaked Audio Recording” – iharare.com, Chris Matambanadzo
- “Robson Mhandu’s ZBC sex scandal jolts industry” – bulawayo24.com
- “I bring brand of qualitative leadership: Mhandu” – herald.co.zw