EMBATTLED Tourism Minister Prisca Mupfumira has been caught up in another potentially damaging storm following the sudden resignation of Zimbabwe Tourism Authority board chair, Osborne Majuru citing alleged incitement to committing acts of corruption by the jailed Minister.
In a letter addressed to Mupfumira, Majuru accused her boss of undermining the ZTA's powers by unilaterally appointing the authority's acting chief executive, Rita Likukuma in contradiction of Section 17.4 of the Zimbabwe Tourism Act.
The law states that the authority's chief executive is subject to the direction and supervision of the Board.
He also argued that Section 18 further directs that "the Board" (not the Chief Executive) reports to the Minister on issues to do with operations, undertakings and activities of the Authority... "
Majuru also extracted Section 20 which provides that "The Minister MAY give the Board (not the Chief Executive) directions on matters of policy (not operational matters) as he/she deems fit.
"This arrangement worked perfectly when Karikoga Kaseke was in office but unfortunately things changed when he became medically bedridden.
"Honourable Minister, my view is that the authority of the ZTA Board has been undermined and significantly eroded to the point of rendering the Board ineffective," he said.
Majuru also added that Likukuma no longer takes instructions from the ZTA board but from Mupfumira's office, instead citing the manner in which the ongoing skills audit report is being handled where the board's input is being ignored.
"The core problem Honourable Minister is that the acting chief executive feels she is accountable and answerable to you and not the Board.
"She wrote to me stating that management is answerable to the Minister, which is contrary to the provisions of the ZTA Act as I pointed out earlier," the letter said.
Majuru warned that problems affecting the tourism sector is likely to persist if Minister Mupfumira continues to interfere with ZTA operations.
Mupfumira was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission on corruption allegations involving US$95 million belonging to the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) funds.