Minister wreaks havoc at ZTA

Last week, Rwodzi suspended the ZTA board following clashes after it allegedly stood up to her overarching interference.

TOURISM minister Barbra Rwodzi has been accused of bulldozing her way into day-to-day operations of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) in breach of the law and corporate governance.

Source said cronyism was gaining at foothold at the ZTA after Rwodzi was appointed minister in September this year with morale also at rock bottom as workers feared being targeted.

Last week, Rwodzi suspended the ZTA board following clashes after it allegedly stood up to her overarching interference.

ZTA chief executive officer Winnie Muchanyuka was also allegedly pressured into resigning by the minister, sources said, as matters reached boiling point.

A host of senior ZTA officials also face the chop amid claims that the minister wanted to second her cronies to the body that presides over a billion US-dollar industry, sources said.

The ZTA is a corporate statutory body created under the Tourism Act and as a state enterprise is fully subject to comply with the Public Enterprises Corporate Governance Act.

In terms of both Acts, the role of the minister is policy.

Operations are the preserve of the authority.

In terms of the Public Enterprises Corporate Governance Act, the minister appoints the board drawn from, and approved by the Corporate Governance Unit.

The board in turn appoints the CEO.

Both the board and CEO terms are provided under the law.

“The board and CEO are meant to serve the authority and not subject to the whims of the minister,” an insider close to the matter told The Standard.

“The minister is behaving like a bull in a China shop.

“She has bullied the CEO into resignation and has pummelled the board to vacate office.

“The board's term was due to expire on January 31, 2023 but someone was so impatient. What's the rush?.”

Sources said the ZTA board had been ‘stripped’ of its powers before it was suspended.

“It's the board which is mandated to appoint an acting CEO, but that role has been taken upstairs,” another source said.

“Even in her promotion of domestic tourism, how many of her cabinet colleagues has she convinced to spend their holiday at our resorts?”

When contacted for comment yesterday, Rwodzi said she was about to join a meeting.

The minister then later referred this reporter to the state media saying she had done an interview with them about ZTA.

“Ask for notes from your colleagues from the state media as I had an interview with them on ZTA business,” Rwodzi insisted even after this reporter told her that The Standard was pursuing its own story.

Rwozdzi is the Zanu PF Chirumanzi South legislator.

She grabbed headlines during the run-up to the August elections for threatening a police Assistant Inspector, who was investigating a Zanu PF supporter arrested for removing opposition Citizens Coalition for Change campaign posters.

The assistant inspector, only identified as Matsa, was stationed at Charandura Police Station in Rwodzi’s constituency.

Matsa was later transferred.

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