Air Zimbabwe appoints new CEO
Air Zimbabwe has a new chief executive. Ripton Muzenda, son to the late Vice President Simon Muzenda who is taking over from Edmund Makona who was acting CEO since September 2013.
Muzenda is a former commercial pilot and flew with Air Zimbabwe and was also an instructor with the airline.
There are some critics in the country claiming this is a political appointment and saying he did not have the experience to help lift the airline from its current $36 million annual losses.
Others are praising the appointment. Minister of Tourism, Walter Mzembi tweeted that the appointment “makes the most sense. Loyalty and experience rewarded. Now to surround him with business and entrepreneurial skill in a management team and a 21st century survival culture.”
In a statement, Air Zimbabwe said Muzenda who has been a pilot for over 25 years, is expected to begin his duties at the helm of the national airline on Monday.
“Captain Muzenda brings a wealth of aviation knowledge, skills, experience and leadership to Air Zimbabwe. He has been an airline pilot for over 25 years. He held the posts of senior training captain and examiner at Air Zimbabwe,” said the statement.
He also worked for Singapore Airlines and held the posts of Boeing 747 -400 captain, management pilot line operations and crew resource management facilitator.
He holds an MBA in Aviation management from Coventry University in England and “numerous mandatory qualifications for his profession”.
“In the last decade, the Airline has been beset with a host of challenges. The growth and development of the Airline requires a leader whose vision is consistent with the airline’s mandate to contribute to the nation’s development as pronounced in Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation,” Air Zimbabwe said.
As the head of Air Zimbabwe Muzenda will become chairman of AFRAA - the African Airline Association - as Zimbabwe hosts the Association's general assembly in Victoria Falls in November.