HomePoliticsAir Zim boss faces uncertain future

Air Zim boss faces uncertain future

Itai Dzamara

AIR Zimbabwe management on Wednesday held a meeting with workers’ representatives to discuss a simmering wage dispute.

rif”>The marathon meeting reportedly spilled into the early hours of yesterday and was attended by Transport ministry permanent secretary Karikoga Kaseke.

The future of Air Zimbabwe managing director Rambai Chingwena wasn’t clear by late yesterday with reports suggesting that he had tendered his resignation to government. Other reports claimed that Chingwena had been given a dismissal notice by the Ministry of Transport.

Workers at the beleaguered national airline downed tools on Monday after the parastatal failed to honour its promise to award a 120% pay increase this month. Workers demanded a 300% increment last month but accepted management’s proposal of a 120% hike this month whilst negotiations continue. However, it emerged last Friday that the national airline had stuck to the old salaries and wages for this month.

Air Zimbabwe legal and corporate affairs manager, Arthur Manase, yesterday confirmed that the Wednesday meeting had spilled into the early hours of yesterday but declined to comment on Chingwena’s fate.

“I can confirm that there was a meeting yesterday (Wednesday) that lasted to until after midnight,” said Manase. “However, I can’t offer you details or outcomes of the meeting. I am also not in a position to comment on Chingwena’s future and current status.”

Sources privy to Wednesday’s meeting which was attended by members of the Air Zimbabwe board said Chingwena was blamed for the wage dispute.

“We understand he (Chingwena) will be leaving soon,” said a source who attended the Wednesday meeting and is following the goings-on at Air Zimbabwe. “He has either resigned or been fired. There has been mounting pressure on him to quit.”

Chingwena, who was said to be out of his office yesterday, is reported to have refused to shoulder the blame citing Air Zimbabwe’s viability problems.

Efforts to verify Chingwena’s position with Kaseke were unscuccessful yesterday.

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