Zimbabwean Government has gazetted the Civil Aviation Authority Amendment Bill that seeks to restrict CAAZ’s powers and functions to those of a regulator.
It also intends to create a separate entity to oversee the operations of airports and aerodromes.
In particular, Clause 3 of the Bill seeks to limit the scope of the CAAZ’s mandate to civil aviation safety and security, and to hand over the running of airports to a new entity that will be called Airports Company of Zimbabwe (Private) Limited.
Clause 5 compels the observance of gender balance in appointments to the board of the parastatal.
Clause 7 and 8 of the Bill seeks to amend the principal Act by shortening the period within which the minister must fill a vacancy in the board of CAAZ from three months to one month.
This is part of Government efforts to enhance efficiency.
The Bill will also change the title of the head of the State entity from chief executive or general manager to director-general.
Most importantly, Clause 9 criminalises the concealment of information on conflict of interest by board members.
“A member of the board or committee who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) shall be guilty of an offence and liable (a) if he or she obtained a consideration, advantage or benefit as a result of the contravention, to a fine not exceeding Level 14 or twice the value of the consideration, advantage or benefit whichever is greater amount or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years or to both such fine or imprisonment,” reads the Clause.
Clause 11 distinguishes the role of the director-general and that of the board.
The proposed law envisages devolving greater authority to the director-general to appoint, promote and develop staff members.
However, the board will retain the power to fix, review and amend the staff establishment.