ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive officer (CEO) Karikoga Kaseke is set to leave the institution he has led for 13 years.
Kaseke, who took the role of CEO in July 2005 on reassignment from the Ministry of Transport and Communications where he was the permanent secretary, this week confirmed his imminent departure.
“I am about to leave the ZTA and I have discussed this with the board chairperson,” he told The Financial Gazette
“It will not necessarily be this year, but I want to ensure I leave everything in good shape…with a clear succession plan,” he said.
While the former Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe chief executive did not state his reasons for leaving, there has been a strong push from President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s new administration to reform State firms and enterprises, including changing key personnel in the institutions.
Over the past few weeks, there have been significant changes at institutions like the registrar general’s office, where long-serving civil servant Tobaiwa Mudede was replaced by former immigration head, Clemence Masango.
Critical changes have also been effected at the Public Service Commission, as well as the police and military.
Kaseke said he was proud to leave the tourism industry in a strong position. He, however, has a few regrets.
“I remained focused during my tenure and all my principals are happy with me. However, there were some misunderstandings with former Tourism minister Walter Mzembi, which was purely personal, but in terms of work he admired me. As a minister, he was not happy with me, but I was happy with him, and we shared the same vision,” he said.
Kaseke said he will be leaving ZTA at a time the board has adopted the National Tourism Strategy, vision 2025, which aims to attract at least seven million visitors in the next few years.
“Vision 2025 has been accepted by the board. So whoever will be coming will see it through,” he said.
The tourism boss further indicated that Zimbabwe is not yet ready to accommodate the anticipated seven million visitors.
“At the moment we are having a very uncomfortable stock. The rooms that we have are slightly above 6 000, countrywide and that translate to around 10 000 beds. So when we predict to say we want to invite about seven million visitors, we know the amounts of investment that is needed and we think by 2025, if we go by investment promises we are getting, in terms of accommodation, we will be ready,” he said.
Kaseke also indicated that the tourism revolving fund, which was capitalised to about $15 million at inception would also play a role in tourism infrastructure development.
“The fund is there but operators are finding it difficult to access the funds. The fund was $15 million and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has increased it to around $50 million now. But operators are not accessing the fund, because of some reasons.
“Three players have already accessed the fund, but majority have not accessed it for reasons that are good enough, so we want to resolve the issues, with those and its now on individual basis,” he said.
Source: The Financial Gazette