HE National AIDS Council (NAC) which has gone for more than 365 days with neither a substantive board nor Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has come under fire from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who believe the development was impacting negatively on the national HIV response.
Health and Child Care Minister, Dr Obadiah Moyo dissolved the NAC board a year ago a few weeks after former NAC CEO, Dr Tapuwa Magure had resigned.
Since January 2019, Raymond Yekeye the NAC Operations Manager and Alfred Manenji the Finance Director, have held the position of CEO on an acting basis.
However delays to the appointment of the new board have been attributed to bureaucratic tendencies bedeviling government and its parastatals.
Basic Corporate governance dictates that such a large institution as big as the NAC cannot go for so long without a substantive board. It’s long overdue and is now beginning to affect the operations of not only the institution but the national HIV response.
“At the just ended Global Fund Country Committee (CCM) meeting that was held in Harare last week on January 9, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Health, Dr Agnes Mahomva acknowledged the need to address this issue but indicated that the ministry of health had done its part and the final decision was now resting with the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC),” said a civil society member who requested anonymity.
In Zimbabwe, government policy states that the OPC vets all potential candidates who would have applied to any government departments and institutions’ boards and then gives the appointing ministry the list of approved candidates.
Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) Executive Director, Itai Rusike however emphasized the need for government to urgently reconstitute a board which which he says would give the proper policy direction to the organisation.
“The Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) calls on the the Honourable Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Obadiah Moyo to urgently reconstitute the National AIDS Council (NAC) Board to enable the board to give proper policy direction to the organization as the organization has been operating without a board since early last year and this is against the tenets of good corporate governance,transparency and accountability.
He added that they disapprove the current ad-hoc and reactive appointments being done at NAC, an important organization that holds keys to millions of lives that cannot do without its services.