By Professor Matodzi
Harare, January 1, 2014 – Zimbabwe’s state-run national airline, Air Zimbabwe has suspended six of its top bosses pending dismissal over a 5.2 million euro aviation insurance scandal.
Radio VOP understands that the Ozias Bvute-led Air Zimbabwe board of directors suspended six of the airline’s top managers on Tuesday after the senior personnel were all fingered for allegedly overpaying some insurance premiums following a forensic audit conducted by a local auditing firm.
The six managers include Innocent Mavhunga, the airline’s acting chief executive office, who was already serving suspension on some other misdemeanors, Grace Pfumbidzayi, the suspended company secretary, Nicholas Munjere, the suspended acting manager-finance, Nobert Machingauta, the acting manager-strategy and economics, Patience Tichagwa, the manager-revenue accounts, and Osweld Madziva, the manager-human resources.
Insiders at the airline said the six top bosses were implicated in the aviation insurance scam and were suspended pending dismissal without salaries and benefits.
The board, the insiders said had dispatched the state-run airline’s drivers to repossess vehicles allocated to the airline bosses.
In September, the respected Financial Gazette newspaper reported that forensic auditors had exposed possible manipulation of aviation insurance policies by past and present bosses, which could have prejudiced the state-run airline of millions of dollars between 2009 and 2013.
Air Zimbabwe has for several years been saddled with problems ranging from the seizure of its planes, wild cat strikes and the grounding of some of the airline’s aged and Chinese-made aircraft.