Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter
Additional board members for the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) and the Airports Company of Zimbabwe (ACZ) have been appointed by President Mnangagwa as the Second Republic continues to ensure there is transparency and accountability within public entities.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona, announced the board members yesterday.
Dr George Manyaya was appointed Zinara board chairperson for the next three years, taking over with immediate effect.
Ms Lizwe Bunu has been re-appointed to serve her second term as the deputy chairperson of the Zinara board for the next three years with effect from January 13, 2022.
Alderman Naason Mudzara was also reappointed as a board member for Zinara for the next three years with effect from January 13 next year.
For the ACZ, Ms Sinikiwe Gwatidzo, shall serve as the company’s deputy chairperson for the three years with immediate effect.
“On 1 December 2021, I announced additional appointments to boards of five public entities under my purview. Today, we convene once again to announce more appointments for the Zinara and ACZ boards.
“As you may be aware, terms of office of board members expire at different dates and with nine public entities under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, these appointments are announced regularly. The appointments are in line with obligations flowing from Section 11 of the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act,” he said.
Minister Mhona said constituting boards of public entities was a critical component of his corporate governance oversight duties as the line minister.
“Boards are rich fountains for strategic policy guidance and direction to management of public entities in the execution of their mandates with the view to provide goods and services to the people.
Minister Mhona added that among the appointments, President Mnangagwa had approved the appointment of two women of integrity to the position of deputy chairpersons of Zinara and ACZ boards.
Under the Constitution women have to be far more prominent within public entities and it is now a general practice that the chair and deputy chair of any entity should be of opposite gender.
Board members go through a rigorous and meticulous vetting process, said Minister Mhona, implying that their appointment was on the basis of merit, integrity and their knowledge and understanding of, and experience in the strategic leadership of public entities under which they shall serve.
The newly appointed board members, were advised to be alive to the need for implementing good corporate governance principles in their practice.
Minister Mhona advised the board members to be familiar with provisions of the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act.
While the boards of public entities do not do the detailed management, and the Minister of the overseeing ministry is also out of the detailed management loop, the board is responsible for translating general policy into strategic programmes, and then for ensuring that the management both translates those strategic principles into practice and that the management is up to the mark.
The board is also the primary watchdog when it comes to keeping corruption or abuse of office at bay.
The Minister was clear on what was needed. He said at Zinara, there was immediate need for providing strategic policy guidance on, among other aspects, the de-congestion of tollgates, working closely with the ministry for the refurbishment and construction of toll plazas, and coordinating and capacity building of road authorities to ensure maximum drawings from the road fund for road maintenance.
Minister Mhona said there was also need to implement various Statutory Instruments pertaining to by-passes, prohibition of vendors from toll gates, extended period of blockages by broken down vehicles and resource mobilisation, learning and adopting good practices from other road funds on emerging issues to ensure modern financing models for sustainable logistics solutions and formulating and rolling-out a robust multi-stakeholder driven communication strategy.
Further, there is need to develop appropriate human capital attitudes leveraged by optimal motivation frameworks in line with the performance of Zinara and strengthening and broadening the committee system to work as working group incubators of innovative programming to improve accountability and financial prudence for subsequent approval by the full board.
At ACZ, Minister Mhona said it was his fervent hope that the deputy chairperson, Ms Bunu, shall work with her colleagues to ensure a number of expectations were met.
Some of the expectations include strategically positioning the ACZ, with a view to take charge of the airports and aerodromes functions conferred in terms of the Civil Aviation Amendment Act; building the ACZ brand and transforming the face of airports and aerodromes to promote tourism and regional integration, and jointly with CAAZ, expediting the assets transfer and engagement of seconded employees through efficient modalities grounded in fair labour practices and public interest ethos to ensure no employees are left out.
Minister Mhona said as the board members take up their positions, they are mandated to practice a high standard of professional ethics.
“For public entities to perform well, the following principles are important to note: efficient economical use of resources; public administration must be development-oriented; services must be provided impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias; people’s needs must be responded to within a reasonable time; and the public must be encouraged to participate in policy-making, public administration must be accountable to Parliament and to the people; and recruitment of staff must be made primarily on the basis of merit.
“I want to take this opportunity to express the confidence that Government has in you as board members, as you embark on a journey to work with those who were appointed before you to accelerate transformation of public entities,” said Minister Mhona.
In his acceptance speech, Dr Manyaya applauded President Mnangagwa and Government for the trust bestowed upon them.
“I would like to thank the Government for walking the talk on inclusivity through appointing the youth and enhancing gender parity to various national strategic institutions as demonstrated by today’s appointments.
“We applaud President Mnangagwa for spearheading the bold and transformative policies as infrastructural development is a key pillar in the National Development Strategy 1 and as you have seen that the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme has taken shape, we must ensure the timeous disbursement of funds to the various road authorities.
“This role comes with a lot of responsibilities and expectations and when handling statutory funds like the Road Fund, there is a need to manage such with high levels of propriety and probity,” he said.
Dr Manyaya committed to adhere to the various corporate governance legislative and policy frameworks
He said Zinara will also look into the upgrading and updating of ICT infrastructure and software solutions to increase operational efficiency to ensure speedy and flawless service to all customers.
We must harness the digital economy and use emerging technologies to counter leakages. We will introduce a robust communication strategy bordering on transparency, accountability, disclosure and multi-stakeholder engagement so that all stakeholders are always abreast with our activities, therefore leaving no one and no place behind, he said.
Dr Manyaya is a self-driven and dynamic young business executive with a resolute vision of adding value to the nation in its key strategic sectors.
He was transferred to the Zinara board from serving as the ACZ vice chairperson. He was also a member of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe board in 2013.
Dr Manyaya holds a Doctorate in Business Administration, a Master of Science Degree in International Relations, another Master of Commerce Degree in Strategic Management and Corporate Governance, Bachelor of Commerce Honours Degree in Business Management, a Diploma in Mass Communication and Journalism Studies, a Certificate in Diplomacy, Protocol and Etiquette and a Certificate in Telecommunications Policy Regulation Management, among other qualifications.
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