Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Chief Operating Officer, Givemore Chidzidzi has been appointed ZTA Acting CEO with immediate effect, taking over from Rita Likukuma.

According to ZTA, Likukuma, who was seconded by the board to temporarily take charge of the organisation’s executive affairs after the CEO, Dr Karikoga Kaseke, fell ill, has reverted to her non-executive role in the authority’s board. Likukuma had been leading the organisation in an acting capacity with effect from February 1.

ZTA Deputy Board Chairperson, Dr Precious Sibiya, commented: “Since her secondment, Rita has played a critical role in the development and success of the organisation and, while we will miss her in the executive structures, we believe that her inspiring leadership will continue to be valuable once again in the board. In the same vein, I would like to congratulate Givemore for this appointment as the Acting Chief Executive. We as the board are confident in him and the executive team at the ZTA that they will continue to restore the important contribution tourism makes to the economy.”

A Hotels Association of Zimbabwe member who preferred to remain anonymous, said there was need for the ZTA board to appoint a substantive CEO.

“While as an industry we appreciated that Mr Chidzidzi has been with ZTA for some time and is now experienced, it is important to note that if someone is acting, the assumption is that the person may not make permanent decisions, resultantly slowing down decision-making in the entire industry,” said the member, adding that “Even those who might want to engage ZTA may choose to wait until a substantive CE has been appointed. Third parties may not want to work with someone in acting capacity.”