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ZTA top official’s US$40 000 holiday allowance investigated



A US$40 000 holiday allowance paid to Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief operating officer Givemore Chidzidzi with chief executive Winnie Muchanyuka’s approval led to Tourism minister Mangaliso Ndlovu initiating a corruption investigation at the government agency.


Revelations show that the disbursement was approved by Muchanyuka (pictured) and  ZTA finance board secretary without the knowledge of other board members.

This saw the rest of the board demanding justification — to which they failed to get satisfactory answers — leading to Ndlovu initiating a commission of inquiry to launch an investigation into the corruption allegations.

The probe also involves payment of groceries allowances.  

The five-member special investigation committee was appointed by Ndlovu through a Government Gazette published on 27 January 2023, headed by the Public Service ministry’s permanent secretary Simon Masanga.

The committee was mandated to investigate the policy on holiday allowances for the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive officer.

Minister Ndlovu also tasked the committee to probe the policy on Chidzidzi’s holiday allowances and check: “Whether there are any reference provisions for Acting Chief Executive Officer to get holiday allowances as stated in the letter from Office of the President and Cabinet . . .”

“If the Chief Executive Officer benefitted from Chief Operating Officer allowances?  If so how much . . .)

“How payments were effected and whether there was Board concurrence for Acting Chief Executive Officer to get Holiday allowances at Chief Executive Office level . . .” “If there are any breaches in terms of the corporate Governance Act — if so, what are the recommended remedial measures . . .”

“And if there are any loopholes/gaps identified in the allowance system and make recommendations to prevent such occurrences in future.”

The ongoing investigation will also probe the ZTA board to establish how grocery allowances were paid out during the Covid-19 period. It is also probing any acts of foul play on whether there was a board resolution for Covid-19 allowances to ZTA board members.

Revelations show that a section of employees was paid grocery allowances without the knowledge of the board, which also led to a demand for satisfactory answers.

The committee has also been tasked to investigate any legal breach, and whether this was provided for in terms of the Corporate Governance Act, and also to ascertain how long the board members received the grocery allowances and the total cost in monetary terms.

“On both issues, the committee may raise other pertinent issues in terms of the Corporate Governance Act [Chapter 10:31] and will be guided by the Corporate Governance Act to ensure transparency, fairness and professionalism in the assignment,” said Ndlovu in the Gazette.

Muchanyuka replaced Karikoga Kaseke as ZTA CEO in June last year, who had resigned in 2021 due to ill health.

She was on the board of the Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe and the Chinhoyi University School of Tourism before joining ZTA. She has vast experience in the aviation industry with a stint as an air hostess for Air Zimbabwe and Swiss Air.

She also worked as an executive for South African Airways.

Prior to her taking over in June, Chidzidzi has been acting CEO for some months.

After Muchanyuka’s appointment, it was decided that he needed US$40 000 in holiday allowances, without the knowledge of the board. 

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