NATIONAL airline Air Zimbabwe has appointed corporate quality, safety and security head Edmund Makona as the new acting chief executive officer, taking over from Innocent Mavhunga who had also been in acting capacity for the executive post since 2011.
Mavhunga was reportedly sent on forced leave last month on allegations of incompetence.
The management crisis comes as the airline was yesterday expected to have paid R5 million owed to the South African government in landing and parking
Sources who requested anonymity said Makona was appointed as the acting chief executive of the airline after Mavhunga was put on forced leave in unclear circumstances.
“Makona was appointed two weeks ago by the Air Zimbabwe board after Mavhunga was sent on leave on incompetence charges,” sources said.
Contacted for comment, the Air Zimbabwe former acting chief executive officer declined to comment, referring all questions to Air Zimbabwe chairman Ozias Bvute.
“I cannot comment. Get in touch with the chairman of the board,” Mavhunga said.
Calls to Bvute’s number were not getting through as he was said to be outside the country.
Sources disclosed that the airline owed South African airports R5 million and was expected to pay the money by this week.
“Bvute is out of the country and will be back on Wednesday (tomorrow). If Air Zimbabwe fails to meet the deadline, it risks incurring interest fees,” the sources said.
Early this year, the parastatal held interviews for the chief executive officer’s post.
Air Zimbabwe has had one of the highest turnovers of executives, with Makona being the sixth person to take the office either substantively or in an acting capacity since 1995.
The national flag carrier was previously headed by the late Huttush Muringi, Peter Chikumba, Oscar Madombwe, Tendai Mahachi, Innocent Mavhunga, Rambai Chingwena, Tich Garabga and Irishman Brendon Donohoe.
Air Zimbabwe owes various creditors over $140 million.
The parastatals has the highest labour turnover in chief executives and could be a major challenge to the incoming Transport minister Obert Mpofu.