Tourism authority boss stepping down as govt cracks whip on parastatals

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By Alois Vinga

ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Karikoga Kaseke is stepping down after 13 years at the helm of the organisation in a development that comes at a time when government is reforming largely insolvent state enterprises.  

Recently, boards of the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Sports and Recreation Commission and Air Zimbabwe were dissolved in line with government’s new policy thrust aimed at turning around the parastatals.

Speculation was rife Thursday that Kaseke would be leaving ZTA but efforts to get a comment from him were fruitless as his phones went unanswered.

ZTA’s acting communications manager, Hazel Sizani could not give more details on the matter but said that the ZTA boss had just hinted at his departure.

“I cannot confirm the details at the moment but he (Kaseke) just said that I have done my part and I am ready to leave after we achieve our National Tourism Strategic Plan.  There was no time frame availed,” she said.

Tweets posted on Kaseke’s page suggested that his departure was welcomed by some people in the tourism sector. 

“Leaving the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is like the Pontiff leaving the Vatican. He was such a dinosaur. How such a low performing parastatal could keep such a freeloader for years beggars believe,” said one @bmusonza.

@shingimunyeza said “could this be a good time for you to take the reins there?”

But some defended his actions in the tourism industry.

“No in fact he wanted things to change in tourism. He was against the land invasions and grabbing of tourism facilities.

“He openly clashed with former Tourism Minister, Walter Mzembi on policies. That is why he was given more space in the private media,” said another Twitter user.