Management and staff at the State-run Air Zimbabwe yesterday admitted they were in the dark over the proposed restructuring and unbundling of the national airline recently announced by Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Nicholas Goche.
In an internal communiqué, Air Zimbabwe’s acting chief executive Innocent Mavhunga urged the restless workers to remain calm insisting government had not yet communicated its new restructuring plan to the troubled airline’s management.
“As you may all be aware, the media has recently published news articles relating to the restructuring exercise of the airline by the shareholder which is of great interest to all stakeholders and particularly to all employees of Air Zimbabwe Holdings (Pvt) Ltd,” reads the memo to the employees.
“Management values the need to disseminate the relevant and correct information to staff with regard to the reported news. However, management has not yet received official communication on the subject matter and once this has been received, a comprehensive briefing will be given to staff accordingly.”
Goche recently said government was planning a raft of changes at the airline including massive job cuts, unbundling of the airline into strategic business units in addition to underwriting its estimated
$140 million debt.
“Air Zimbabwe Holdings has both unwarranted structure and bloated workforce which has had a negative impact on its resource base,” said Goche.
“In relation to this and with reference to the corporate structure, there is need for rightsizing of Air Zimbabwe Holdings to a suitable structure which is anchored on technical partnership. In similar vein, a phased retrenchment exercise is unavoidable.
“We have learnt lessons from airlines such as South African Airways, Ethiopia Airlines and Kenya Airways, to name just a few, where restructuring paid dividends. Once unbundled, Air Zimbabwe will be streamlined and become efficient.”