23 February 2013

Zimbabwe: New Board for Air Zimbabwe

Government has announced a new seven-member board of directors for Air Zimbabwe led by prominent banker Mr Ozias Bvute. His deputy is Mr Gabriel Mugabe.

Other members of the board are Dr Michael Hove, Mr Farai Chikono, Mrs Laura Gwatiringa, Captain Alex Makanda and Ms Locadia Majonga.

The board is expected to turn around the fortunes of the national airline which has been grounded for sometime.

Air Zimbabwe has been operating with an interim board since March last year.

Government disbanded Air Zimbabwe Holdings and formed a new State-run company Air Zimbabwe (Private) Limited.

Speaking at the board's inauguration yesterday, Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas Goche said their appointment came at a time when several plans were being implemented to save the airline.

"There have been consultations to come up with the new board and it was in line with recommendations we got from Ernst & Young.

"The recommendations have been adopted by Government and it is meant that the airline remains in the sky," Minister Goche said.

"We hope the airline will resume domestic operations.

"Plans are afoot that the airline increases its operations despite limited financial resources," Minister Goche said.

"The fact we do not have finances does not mean the airline should not fly."

He, however, said the airline was still facing severe financial constraints.

"The board is going to lead and supervise an institution that is limping but we hope they will slowly enhance operations of the airline.

"We have plans to resume flights on the Victoria Falls-Johannesburg route and I have no doubt they are up to the task.

"We are going to discuss the recommendations we got from our consultant."

Mr Bvute said the board was prepared to bring about change to the national airline.

"We are honoured to accept the challenge of turning around the fortunes of our national airline.

"We are up to the challenge and we look forward to working with the management to ensure the national airline becomes a national pride.

"We are going to give it our best shot and will find all means necessary such that we do our utmost best," Mr Bvute said.

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