By Alois Vinga
EMBATTLED airliner, Air Zimbabwe has confirmed Edmund Makona as the new chief executive officer with effect from November 1, 2023.
He has been working in an acting capacity since April this year.
The latest development was communicated by the Air Zimbabwe board of directors in a statement on Monday.
“We are pleased to advise all stakeholders that Makona has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Airline with effect from 1st November 2023.
“He has been appointed in terms of Section 14 (4) (b) of the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act (Chapter 10:31) for an effective 5-year-term. At the time of his appointment, Makona was the Acting Chief Executive Officer,” the board said in a statement.
Makona is a top-notch regional and international aviation expert and consultant with over 38 years of experience.
He has been an Aviation consultant with an aeronautical engineering background, a type–rated licensed aircraft engineer, an aviation quality, safety and security expert and a trainer for the aircraft engineers and pilots ground school.
He also served both as President and Executive Committee Member of the African Airline Association.
He is currently the Ambassador of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) for the Africa Southern Region on the African Union (AU) initiative regarding the liberalisation of the African skies.
“The Board is keen on unlocking value from Makona`s diverse expertise and vast experience. We are confident that he will complement the Board`s vision to turn around the national carrier and reposition it to become a strategic, competitive and viable airline for the country,” said the board in a statement.
The task ahead of him is however not a joke as he is expected to breathe life into an entity operating in the red for a prolonged time.
The latest Auditor General’s report shows that the airline is currently saddled with a US$407,8 million cumulative loss on the back of US$39 million debt to a Chinese company coupled with bad management practices almost threatening the existence of the entity.
Before Mukona’s latest appointment, the Auditor General’s dossier had singled out that decision-making at the airliner was under severe threats because the company’s eleven top management posts are all filled with acting personnel among other external factors.