23 February 2018

Zimbabwe: Caaz Board Members Axed

Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Joram Gumbo has terminated the contracts of some board members of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ).

Well-placed sources told The Herald Business that at least two board members yesterday received their termination letters by late afternoon . The sources say other board members could also be on their way out.

Those said to have been dismissed from the board include Retired Brigadier General Elasto Madzingira and an official seconded from the ministry. Minister Gumbo confirmed to The Business Herald that the move is part of the re-organisation of CAAZ.

"I usually don't want to discuss things relating to the personal lives of people but I can confirm that this is part of the restructuring of the organisation and we also want to support gender balance. Therefore I will be making a statement over the matter this coming week," said Minister Gumbo.

The minister announced the board in 2016, and appointed prominent lawyer Thembinkosi Magwaliba as its interim chairman. The other board members included retired Brigadier General Elasto Madzingira, former ASA Resources executive Caroline Mathonsi, Joseph Jambo and Pamela Maringire. A source at the authority said although the move was part of a restructuring exercise, it would weaken the board.

"Minister Gumbo has terminated contracts for two board members have since received their letters saying it is part of a realignment with Section 17 of the Constitution which touches on gender balance. This also comes at a time when a Bill to see the unbundling of the aviation authority is going through approval processes," said the source.

Notwithstanding the restructuring process, there have been allegations of bad blood between current CAAZ chief executive David Chawota and the board. The Herald Business is informed that Mr Chawota has not been taking orders from the board, but directly from the Minister.

Insiders claim that the tenure of the board has always been questionable considering the good relationship between Minister Gumbo and Mr Chawota. It is Minister Gumbo who brought back Mr Chawota from suspension when the board had resolved to suspend him.

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