TRANSPORT and Infrastructure Development minister Obert Mpofu yesterday dissolved the Ozias Bvute-led Air Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd board with immediate effect for failure to observe good corporate governance.
The Airzim board is accused of mishandling a forensic audit report into the airline’s affairs and failure to inform and advise the minister on developments at the corporation in line with good corporate governance.
The board had last week set up a disciplinary tribunal that was in the process of holding disciplinary hearings for some of the airline’s managers. On Friday the tribunal had found company secretary Grace Pfumbidzai guilty of defrauding the airline of money running into millions of dollars.
It was not known last night if the disciplinary hearings would continue or whether the Pfumbidzai verdict would hold.
Mpofu said he learnt a lot about developments at Airzim from the media instead of getting it direct from the board.
“I received the forensic audit report yesterday (Monday) where upon reading it I realised most of the issues have been reported verbatim by papers. It shows the board’s total lack of appreciation that there is an authority or sheer lack of corporate governance,” he said.
Mpofu said that the ministry had to write to the board last week requesting a copy of the forensic audit report.
“We wrote to them on Friday requesting the report which the board only availed on Monday evening to the minister’s office,” he added.
He said he had taken a decision to have the audit report period extended to December 2013 from March.
“The auditors now have to cover up to the end of the year so that it also covers what transpired between March and the end of the year when the board took over,” he said.
The minister said he was irked by some of the internal correspondence between him and the board that found its way into the media.
“They had the audacity to lie to the public that documents that they transacted with the minister are published in the media; that is unacceptable,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mpofu also dissolved four other boards under his ministry to realign their vision with the new economic policy document — ZimAsset.
The boards include Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara), National Railways of Zimbabwe, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe and Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe.
“As a result, with immediate effect, the current boards of these public entities have been dissolved. This is to pave way for the reconstitution of new boards with a fresh mandate as enshrined in the ZimAsset document,” Mpofu said.
Mpofu becomes the third minister to dissolve parastatal boards under their portfolios in the past three months. Others are Information minister Jonathan Moyo, who dissolved the ZBC board, and Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire, who dissolved eight boards under his ministry.