The situation at Air Zimbabwe, where pilots and other professionals are working without contracts, is clearly abnormal and it beggars belief why the mandarins at the national carrier and the government let such an unnatural situation fester.
Comment: NewsDay Editor
This is a clear sign of poor management and indecisiveness on the part of the bosses and there is need for this situation to be cleared up.
Air Zimbabwe is in the doldrums not by some act of God or freak accident, but because of failure by the management to address issues as simple as workers’ contracts and this has been responsible for a brain drain, whose full effects are yet to be felt.
There is simply no way Air Zimbabwe can hope to hold on to its most talented staff when it cannot do the basics right and it comes as no surprise that there is low morale among the parastatal’s workers.
The company and the government are clearly not doing enough to keep the airline going and this borders on subtle sabotage.
A recent Parliamentary Portfolio Committee report illustrates the breakdown between workers and management, with staff accusing their bosses of not being responsive when it comes to issues of their welfare.
The workers also said there was lack of engagement from their bosses and this led to the failure of policy implementation because of this apparent divide.
Any student of leadership and management will tell you about the need for consultation and engagement between managers and staff so that workers take ownership of the policy decisions and implement them because they understand the organisation’s vision and have appropriated it as their own.
Top-down decision-making is archaic and not implementable, as there is bound to be resistance at every turn.
It should not be surprising that there is such a situation at Air Zimbabwe and the selection of the company bosses will inadvertently come to the fore.
President Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law, Simba Chikore, was appointed as the chief operations officer in contentious circumstances and questions will be asked whether he is the right person for the job or he is there simply because of his connections.
Once workers ask such questions, then they will have little confidence in their managers, whom they will suspect are led by someone who is not the best qualified for the job.
Whether right or wrong, such questions fuel suspicion and lead to a breakdown in the relationship, emphasising the need to always appoint the best person for the job.
Thus, it is imperative that the managers try to mend the relationship with the staff because if such toxic relations are allowed to persist, it will not be long before dirges are sung for Air Zimbabwe.