Mzembi cracks whip

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THE Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry has given the new Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) board the mandate to enforce performance-based contracts for senior managers and right-size the organisation to remain with a lean, efficient staff.

BY NDAMU SANDU

The new board, unveiled yesterday, is chaired by TelOne managing director Chipo Mtasa with lawyer James Muzangaza coming in as deputy chair. Other members of the board are National Museums and Monuments director Gibson Mahachi, management and training consultant Faith Ntabeni-Bhebe, principal chief immigration officer Clemence Masango, Blessing Munyenyiwa and Douglas Runyowa.
Muzangaza, Masango, Mahachi and Runyowa are from the previous 11-member board chaired by Marah Hativagone.

Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi said yesterday the board he announced was coming at a time when there is a thrust in government to implement austerity measures in the wake of tightening fiscal space. Mzembi said ZTA could not afford to take the business-as-usual approach “both in our revenue collection and our expenditure patterns”.

Mzembi said the board should ensure that ZTA was self-reliant financially from the 2% levy that it collects. ZTA collects at least $6 million annually in tourism levy. He said ZTA has to ensure that its employment costs constituted at most 30% of the budgeted expenditure with the remainder (70%) going towards operations and programmes.

“Any fiscal support from central government ought to be by exception rather than the norm and will require absolutely strong justification,” Mzembi said.

He said the board should take austerity measures and relook at ZTA to ensure “we cut our coat to the size of our cloth”.

Mzembi directed the board to ensure that the authority “rationalises its staff complement and adopt a lean efficient and well-motivated structure that operates on set targets and is poised to deliver”.

Staff rationalisation has to be completed by July 31.

Mzembi met Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa looking at the ministry’s headcount and ZTA. Asked whether the fiscus would support retrenchments, Mzembi said the resources have to come from a combination of internal resources and fiscal support.

The ministry has a staff complement of 75 and has been asked to trim, Mzembi said.

Under the new thrust senior ZTA executives have to sign performance based contracts. The board will have to sign performance contracts with the minister. The board will have to evaluate the performance of chief executive officers on a quarterly basis. These far reaching reforms apply to all executives of parastatals and state enterprises under the corporate governance framework.

Mzembi said Cabinet has prescribed that the remuneration of chief executives and all staff of state enterprises should be guided by the performance of the economy, organisation’s capacity to pay and the overall performance of the incumbent.