AIR TANZANIA BOSS AXED, FOUR MORE SUSPENDED AS NEW BROOMS SWEEP HARD
All posturing and peacock strutting about was not enough to save the former Acting Chief Executive Paul Chizi from the axe, which fell on him when the newly appointed Minister for Transport used a provision in law to remove him from office and instead appointed Mr. Lazaro Lusajo as the new Acting Chief Executive / Managing Director.
Four other officials were by ministerial directive also suspended to make way for a range of investigations now unfolding as the new minister too, like his colleague in natural resources and tourism, is set to sweep out corruption and incompetence following damning parliamentary findings of the true extent how the airline is indebted and has dragged government with guarantees into the dark deep financial red.
The suspended officials, all also working in an acting capacity, are AG Commercial Director Kagirwa Josephat, AG Finance Director Bashara Justus, Acting Legal Counsel Mziray Amini and AG Director of Engineering Ringo John who are now under formal probe by a three person panel of experts which is in particular looking at transactions made in recent months.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Eng. Omari Chambo, when making the announcement on behalf of the Ministry, appears to have acknowledged that these personnel changes may be a temporary challenge for the fledgling carrier, presently operating a single B737-500 leased only weeks ago and flying on the Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro Mwanza routes, which has been struggling to regain market share from the private airlines now operating successfully in Tanzania, foremost of course Precision Air.
Sadly, more bad news about ATCL but not entirely unexpected as repeatedly suggested here, that not all is well with that state corporation which should for all purposes be declared bankrupt over long pending debts and closed down for good to spare the Tanzanian taxpayer from yet more damages than the multi million US Dollar obligations current and past managements left for the central government to absorb once again. Watch this space for regular and breaking news from East Africas vibrant aviation scene.