The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) has been unbundled into two entities, to avoid conflict of interest, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Joel Biggie Matiza announced yesterday.
CAAZ will maintain its name and identity, but its mandate will be limited to regulatory functions, while a new company called Airports Company of Zimbabwe (ACZ) has been established.
ACZ’s key mandate will be to acquire, establish and manage airports in Zimbabwe.
Explaining the changes, Minister Matiza said they were acting in accordance with international best practices.
“The reasoning behind the unbundling is to ensure that Zimbabwe is compliant with International Civil Aviation Organisation regulations which stipulate that the two companies must be split to avoid conflict of interest,” said Minister Matiza.
Under its previous structure, CAAZ was both the player and the referee in that it had regulatory oversight, but also operated airports, now it will regulate the operations of the aviation industry, including those of the newly-established ACZ.
ACZ will also be responsible for roads and infrastructure connected to airports while in its new brief, CAAZ will regulate aircraft operation and provide air traffic control.
Minister Matiza announced the boards for the two entities, with Harare lawyer, Mr Theophilus Gambe, chairing the CAAZ board.
Other board members are Ms Mary Mazhunde, Ms Loveness Masuka-Dumwa, Mr Nickel Mushangwe, Mr Tawona Zunzanyika and Ms Ntombizodwa Takawira.
Mr Gambe said their operations during this Covid-19 period would require creativity, but promised they will be up to the task.
“We are going to sit with the management to set our priorities and understand the operational modalities. We are a pioneer board in the new CAAZ structure, (and) we will need to create strategic synergies that will benefit our country,” he said.
The new kid on the block, ACZ’s board will be chaired by Mr Devnada Popatlal, who expressed his team’s readiness to hit the ground running as they plan for the gradual increase in airport activity in the new normal.
Other board members are media and public relations personality Mr George Manyaya, Ms Tinotenda Ndewende, Mrs Rumbidzai Dihwa, Dr Tendai Mabvure, Ms Snikiwe Gwatidzo.
One female board member will be announced later.
The next few weeks will see the two boards engaging in an asset and manpower sharing while some staffers that were at CAAZ would be transferred to ACZ.
Minister Matiza ordered the ACZ board to expedite the setting up the company’s secretariat.