Gumbo fumes at Caaz over books

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Transport minister Joram Gumbo

The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz) board is under fire from Transport minister Joram Gumbo over its failure to provide up-to-date financials after submitting 2015 accounts at its annual general meeting on Monday.

Taurai Mangudhla

Sources say Gumbo, who only attended part of the meeting to make his official remarks to the board before he left for other commitments, was irked by the old accounts, which he said are in serious violation of good corporate governance principles and demanded that the board present audited 2016 accounts by end of March 2017.

Government in 2014 adopted a National Code on Corporate Governance, whose aim is to encourage leadership to adopt high standards of corporate governance through well-defined national and ethical value systems, but it is yet to be implemented fully.

The Office of the President and Cabinet is also working on a new code of ethics and a Public Sector Corporate Governance Bill to deal with public sector mismanagement and corruption.

“Improvement in corporate governance is one of the areas under Caaz’s 2016 business strategy,” a source close to the Caaz board said.

Gumbo argued there was no justification for such delays given all resources and tools necessary for the board and management to carry out their mandate were in place.

The Caaz board came into effect in June 2016 and is steering government’s initiative to restructure the authority by separating the regulatory responsibilities from the airport management function.

Gumbo’s demand dovetails into Caaz’s 2016 strategy which has a number of deliverables including improving compliance with corporate governance by 5% to 70% by December 2016.
The strategy also sought to increase passenger handling to 6,5 million per year and mobilise US$63 million for projects by December 2016.

This comes as most parastatals have become feeding troughs for corrupt government officials and businesspersons close to the corridors of power through the awarding of shady tenders and other forms of revenue leakage that have cost the country billions of dollars.

In a statement at the general meeting on Monday, Caaz chair Thembinkosi Magwaliba said the authority had not been spared the economic challenges that also took a toll on tourism.

Magwaliba said current liabilities amounted to US$208,2 million against current assets of only US$33,8 million.

Revenues for the year increased by 9% on prior year to US$33,5 million while operational expenditure declined 13% in line with cost-cutting measures that also saw the net deficit fall by 25% on prior year. Employment costs and insurance expenses went down 15% and 11% respectively.

The ratio of employment costs is however high at 44,5%.

Going forward, Magwaliba said, Caaz will focus on revenue growth including a review of airport commercial activities in order to maximum the potential of non-aeronautical business and employ cost management initiatives to achieve profitability by 2018.

The company is also seeking to restructure long-term debt to strengthen its financial position.

Caaz MD David Chawota said the authority handled 1,5 million passengers in 2015 which is 24,55% of the installed capacity of six million passengers. The passenger movements increased by 11% compared to 2014, but remain low at 74,9% of the 1,9 million passengers handled in 1999.

5 thoughts on “Gumbo fumes at Caaz over books”

  1. lyton dube says:

    corrupt chawota should go for caaz to prosper

  2. zano remba says:

    minister ngavakwane , company yati yaproducer audited accounts for 2016 ndeipi iyoyo

  3. Forward Thinker says:

    What a biased unprofessional piece of writing. An important point missed by this inexperienced journalist is that the Board has only been in place for six months. There was not a previous Board was dissolved in 2014, therefore there could not have been an AGM since then! Get your facts right. furthermore, 2016 cannot be published until the audit process is complete, hence the March date NOT as you are incorrectly reporting. Why not focus on those parastatals that have never had an AGM instead of attacking those trying to change and do the right thing. Note this is also one of the few parastatals where jobs are in fact paid on time.

  4. Diaspora says:

    Minister Gumbo should recall that when he decided to carry on with the old baggage at CAAZ despite spirited objections, he was prepared to stomach the consequences of his stance. it has happened before that a hard core criminal can be turned into an efficient police man. However, that philosophy might not work at CAAZ, and we encourage him to get rid of the dead wood there. The Board, in my view, might find powerful and uncooperative management, and we can only wish them the best. In a normal corporate world, the board should have been allowed to select its executive, or at least review the fit and proper position of the current management. @Forward Thinker are bench-marking CAAZ to mediocrity? why don’t you bench-mark the SOE to its regional and international peers?

  5. Forward Thinker says:

    @ Diaspora completely agree. The comparison should be to the best not the worst. Although steps towards striving for the best should not be ignored. International benchmarks and transparency alongside good corporate governance is precisely what the new Board should strive for. I am sure the Executive Management remains at the discretion of the Board but what will be encouraging to see after six months of a grace period is reasonable change if necessary for the future objectives by the Board. Look forward to and hope they keep their word on the 2016 published accounts and AGM. Likewise let us hope the Board lives to its mantra on strategy and change.

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