A major shake up is looming at the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) amid claims that the new acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rita Likukuma wants to ‘cleanse’ incumbent ceo Karikoga Kaseke’s administration and is angling herself to be appointed in substantive capacity, the Zim Morning Post has learnt.
Kaseke is currently absent due to ill health and he has been heading ZTA for over a decade where he made strides in marketing brand Zimbabwe.
He has not been in office since November 2018, implying that if he reaches six months the board will be compelled to appoint a substantive CEO.
Highly placed sources at ZTA said changes at all levels including managerial were in the offing as Likukuma wanted her ‘trusted lieutenants’ in strategic positions to consolidate her position at the helm of the tourism authority as she eyes to be appointed the substantive boss.
The Zim Morning Post learnt that the acting chief executive held a staff meeting last week upon her return from Berlin where she announced that a human resources and skills audit will be conducted at the parastatal.
“She called for a staff meeting where we she talked about the human resources and skills audit and she said it was not a witch hunt to fire some people but she wanted to determine competence levels in line with view to put up a new ZTA strategy and structure.
“However , her tone had insinuations that changes will be made and that has been the talk in the corridors everyday and she has become unpopular,
“The morale of the staff is low ever since her appointment ,” explained our source.
“In fact changes are inevitable because such an audit will obviously seek recommendations which will dictate promotions, demotions , transfers and lay -offs.
“She seems to be targeting KK (Karikoga Kaseke)’s so called allies and there is too much anxiety at the organisation right now,” added our source.
Likukuma is believed to have strong ties with Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Prisca Mupfumira who threw her weight behind her appointment.
Mupfumira seconded Likukuma from the board, where she was a member.
This relationship is in contrast to Kaseke’s relationship with former Tourism minister Walter Mzembi who had a frosty relationship believed to have been caused by a model Lungile Mathe.
Apparently, Kaseke dethroned Mathe in 2011 from her crown as Miss Personality Zimbabwe for her alleged involvement in “scandalous personal affairs and abuse of alcohol”, Mzembi was later to reverse the decision creating a ‘cold war’ that was very visible that one could cut it with a knife.
ZTA head of corporate affairs Godfrey Koti poured cold water on the allegations citing that Likukuma was not the one who ordered the audit but it was a government directive on all parastatals.
“That is not correct information, she (Likukuma) did not personally order the audit but it was a directive from government to all parastatals even the security forces,” said Koti
Asked on allegations that Likukuma ‘s call for audit was a witch-hunt to ‘cleanse’ Kaseke administration, Koti replied;
“How can she possibly do that when the same KK (Kaseke) administration was appointed by the same government that requested an HR audit.”