Dr Shingi Munyeza (left) and new chairman Mr Hebert Nkala (right) after the AGM

Dr Shingi Munyeza (left) and new chairman Mr Hebert Nkala (right) after the AGM

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BUSINESSMAN and hotelier Dr Shingi Munyeza’s 13-year stint with African Sun has come to an end after he announced today that he was stepping down.

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The announcement was made at the hotel group’s annual general meeting (AGM).

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“I am happy I am leaving a sound hospitality group, which survived the turbulent times. I have numerous duties and responsibilities. . . .But I will still be in the tourism and hospitality sector.”

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Mr Ed Shangwa, currently the company secretary, will take over as acting CEO.

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African Sun also announced the departure of chairman Mr Bekithemba Nkomo, who will be replaced by Mr Hebert Nkala with immediate effect.

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Like Dr Munyeza, Mr Bekithemba has served African Sun for the past 13 years, three of which he served as the chairman.

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Dr Munyeza said he was satisfied to leave the group at a solid base, in an economy where others crumbled.

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During his tenure, the African Sun brand strengthened locally and regionally.

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“Many other companies failed and succumbed to economic pressures characterised by liquidity constraints,” he said.

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The incumbent chairman Mr Hebert Nkala, who spoke for the first time as the new chairman, said with the new management changes, focus would be on cost containment and debt reduction for the group.

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Among African Sun’s top priorities would be reducing debt from US$14 million to US$9 million this year.

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As of October 2014, the group’s debt position was US$18 million, but after adopting strategies such as improvements in cost structure, the debt narrowed.

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The African Sun group is now 70 percent controlled by Old Mutual and Brainworks, a situation Mr Nkala said was a positive development for the company, as these are key financially strong shareholders.

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