Simiso Mlevu and Lawrence Chitumba
Government has ordered the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe and the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe to reinstate 20 senior managers whose contracts were recently terminated on three months’ notice. Addressing a Press conference on Thursday, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo said he ordered TSCZ to reinstate 11 of its managers and CAAZ to bring back nine.
He said the move was expected to bring stability at the parastatals while keeping up with international best practices. Minister Gumbo said he held a consultative meeting with TSCZ board and it emerged that managers whose contracts had been terminated had steered the parastatal to profitability. “The board briefed me of the significant progress the TSCZ has made in the past four years under the current management, he said.
“I was advised that the institution has transformed from one that lived from hand to mouth to one that managed to buy its head office in Harare and provincial offices in Bulawayo, Masvingo and Gweru respectively.” TSCZ had terminated the contracts of the managing director, two directors, five regional managers and three managers heading finance, audit and human resources departments.
Minister Gumbo said he instructed the board to craft performance based contracts for the re-instated executives. “I have instructed the board to craft performance related contracts in respect of each of the senior management posts, he said. “The contracts will provide for annual performance reviews.” The reinstatement of TSCZ managers comes at time when the Traffic Safety Board is preparing for the festive season campaigns.
According to Minister Gumbo, the traffic safety campaigns can only be done with a management that is totally focused on the task. In respect of CAAZ, Minister Gumbo said efforts were already under way to refill the posts of senior managers whose contracts had been terminated. “I have also recalled nine senior managers whose contracts had been terminated at CAAZ and for whom efforts were under way to refill the posts,” he said.
Minister Gumbo said CAAZ had to remain compliant with the expectations of international institutions such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). He said the ministry took a decision to reinstate the managers because their posts were ICAO auditable. Minister Gumbo reversed the suspension of CAAZ general manager Mr David Chawota, arguing that, acting on the information provided, he did not see any reason for him not to be at work.
Mr Chawota was sent on forced leave in July to pave way for investigations into alleged poor corporate governance. The managers from both TSCZ and CAAZ were sacked at a time more than 25 000 workers from other companies lost their jobs following the July 17 Supreme Court ruling which allowed companies to terminate contracts of employment on three months’ notice without benefits.
The Supreme Court ruling led to the amendment of the Labour Act, paving way for a win-win situation between the employer and worker.