NEWLY-APPOINTED Air Zimbabwe chief executive Ripton Muzenda has started an extensive recruitment process of senior managers as he begins a “cleansing exercise” at the airline to build a new and loyal team.
BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
The hunt for new executives came barely a month after Muzenda assumed the reins at the troubled airline and the search for seven critical senior managers will be the most significant change at the ailing national career in the last decade.
Among the positions advertised are chief operating officer, manager (finance) and manager (flight operations).
Muzenda is also on the market for manager (maintenance), manager (corporate services), manager (corporate quality, safety and security) and executive manager airline systems and administration.
In advertisements published this week, the airline is looking for people with a minimum experience of 10 years in similar positions.
The development followed the airline’s board chairperson Chipo Dyanda’s disclosure last week that the national carrier was saddled with a $300 million debt and had to restructure or sink.
“The bottom line is Air Zimbabwe is top heavy and it has to be re-organised, as we cannot afford to pay all those senior staff,” Dyanda said.
It remains unclear why the airline overlooked promoting internally and chose to advertise them on the open market.
Earlier this month, the airline overlooked acting chief executive Edmund Makona for the substantive position.
The decision forced Makona to quit in a huff and the parties were now engaged in delicate exit package negotiations.
Both parties were not willing to discuss details of the on-going discussions.
An insider at the airline said the restructuring was to model AirZim to fit in the vision of the CEO and the new board.
“Many in the organisation believe the new board and chief executive want to model the airline to their vision, but more importantly, bring in people who are loyal to them. The restructuring exercise has not been properly communicated to staff,” the insider said.
The airline has applied to the government to assume its debt so that it could start on a clean slate and be attractive to new investors or partners for its survival.