Muzenda ap­pointed Air Zim­babwe boss

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Bianca Mlilo

NA­TIONAL air­line Air Zim­babwe has ap­pointed Cap­tain Rip­ton Muzenda as chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer.

He takes over from Mr Ed­mund Makona who has been at the paras­tatal’s helm on an act­ing ca­pac­ity since 2013.

Air Zim­babwe has been op­er­at­ing with­out a sub­stan­tive chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer since Jan­uary 2011 when the na­tional flag car­rier did not re­new Dr Peter Chikumba’s con­tract.

Fol­low­ing the non-re­newal of Dr Chikumba’s con­tract, Mr In­no­cent Mavhunga was ap­pointed act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer be­fore his dis­missal in 2013.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, the Air Zim­babwe board said Capt Muzenda brings with him vast ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge in the avi­a­tion field.

“The board is ex­cited to an­nounce and wel­come Capt Rip­ton Muzenda as the new chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer for the na­tional air­line. Capt Muzenda as­sumed duty on Mon­day Au­gust 15, 2016,” it said.

It said Capt Muzenda has been an air­line pilot for over 25 years and held the posts of se­nior train­ing cap­tain and ex­am­iner at Air Zim­babwe.

He worked for Singapore Air­lines and held the posts of Boe­ing 747- 400 cap­tain, man­age­ment pilot line op­er­a­tions and crew re­source man­age­ment fa­cil­i­ta­tor.

Capt Muzenda holds a Masters in Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion in Avi­a­tion Man­age­ment from Coven­try Univer­sity in the United King­dom.

He is ex­pected to spear­head the craft­ing and im­ple­men­ta­tion of a turn­around strat­egy for the ail­ing paras­tatal and stop its fi­nan­cial bleed­ing.

The paras­tatal is fac­ing op­er­a­tional chal­lenges aris­ing from a num­ber of fac­tors among them high op­er­a­tional costs, low load fac­tors and a huge debt over­hang amount­ing to about $300 mil­lion. In June, the Trans­port and In­fras­truc­tural De­vel­op­ment Par­lia­men­tary Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee chaired by Chegutu West leg­is­la­tor Mr Dex­ter Nduna pre­sented a re­port be­fore Par­lia­ment stat­ing that Air Zim­babwe was los­ing $3 mil­lion a month and is tech­ni­cally in­sol­vent. The com­mit­tee said the air­line was gen­er­at­ing an es­ti­mated rev­enue of $2,65 mil­lion a month against an op­er­a­tional ex­pen­di­ture of $5,94 mil­lion. — @ Bian­caMlilo

Cap­tain Rip­ton Muzenda

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