Government should set up an independent committee to investigate the operations of Air Zimbabwe in the wake of a strike by pilots that has seen the national carrier lose $500 000 a day, a former board member of the corporation has said.
Talks between striking pilots and management have remained deadlocked.
Airzim former board member Leonard Nyamutsamba yesterday told NewsDay the airline could not afford to fire pilots as it was almost impossible to replace them.
“A lot of corruption and nepotism has been going on for a long time. It’s time that is put to a stop,” said Nyamutsamba. “You do not negotiate by threatening key staff. Pilots are not like kombi drivers who you can hire and fire at will.”
He said during the six years that he spent on the board there were a number of occasions where pilots wanted to go on strike but it was only averted by listening to their concerns and negotiating in good faith.
“Jonathan Kadzura has no right to fire pilots that are demanding what is due to them. Bringing in expatriates will cost the airline even more and they cannot afford that,” he said.
Nyamutsamba said there was need for government to monitor the performance of the board, adding those that fail to deliver should be fired.
Despite a 24-hour ultimatum issued on Thursday night for the pilots to return to work or face dismissal, the pilots have remained defiant.