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    Monday, 25 June 2018

    Matsikidze elected new NBSZ chairman

    • Pledges to make the organisation transparent

    SIMBARASHE MTEMBO

    HARARE – The Mirror board chairman who is also a prominent Harare-based labour lawyer, Rodgers Matsikidze has been elected National Blood Services Zimbabwe (NBSZ) board chairman replacing Retired Justice Goerge Leslie Smith who has been at the helm of the organization for the past 41 years.
    Matsikidze was elected on Friday in Harare during the NBSZ's annual general meeting held at NBSZ where the entire board was replaced by new blood.
    He immediately pledged to bring good governance and transparency to the way that NBSZ is run. In that vein, Matsikidze said all NBSZ annual financial reports will henceforth be published.
     The campaign to fill up the nation's blood bank will become more vigorous as it will become  part of life extending to every facet including Parliament and Sports.
    The board has 17 members and  the  vice chairman will be elected at their first meeting together with other office bearers. Lucy Zivhu is in the board by virtue of her being the chief executive officer of  NBSZ.
    The new board comes after a protracted campaign by blood donors led by Matsikidze to bring new order to NSBZ which they said was being turned into a private company. Also of concern to those who campaigned against the Justice Smith-led board was the high cost of blood which is out of reach of the majority of Zimbabweans.
    Matsikidze has always campaigned for an order in which blood should be available to every citizen for free as it is a source of life. He saw no reason why blood should be sold to desperate patients who need to save their lives and he gave examples of many countries including developing ones that allow citizens to access blood for free.
    Matsikidze also argued that if blood is donated for free, then it should also be given to patients for free. He also said that blood should be considered a matter of national security as genocide can be conducted through the precious life-giving liquid and called upon Government to get involved in the business of blood.
    Speaking in an interview with The Mirror soon after his election, Matsikidze said that he will during his term in office seek to broaden NBSZ's stakeholders in order to bring more players into the business of campaigning for and managing blood. He said that NGOs, medical aid societies, the corporate world, Government etc will be involved and consulted.
    He pledged to motivate NBSZ's workers through various structural changes.
    "My vision is to ensure that NBSZ is the most efficient, inclusive, effective, donorsensitiveorganisation. It should be transparent, all financials should be published annually. We look to be inclusive, the Government should be included, NGOs should be included, companies, institutions, medical aid societies should be stakeholders to be consulted.
    "It's a whole lot of work. The governance structures should be unitary not that each branch has its own constitution, not that one organisation has several governance documents. We need to put in place systems and procedures on each and every aspect. Accountability is the big thing. Every person legal or natural should have no questions about governance. Employees of NBSZ should be motivated and have one centre of reporting, the CEO who in turn reports on policy and implementation progress to the board. We will put clear demarcation on responsibilities.
     "In addition, we need every sport, every facet of life, whether in Parliament to be always blood donation campaigners. It's a complete turn around and our goal is no one should die because they could not get blood. We are here to ensure that blood is not for the rich put the poor as well. In all this we shall not at all compromise the quality of blood. If ever the blood should be more safer and  beyond doubt in compliance with all standards. We are saying to all Zimbabweans NBSZ is yours and you should be free to ask anything," said the new board chairman.
    Matsikidze went to Mushandike Secondary School for O Level and Chibi High School for A Level in 1998 before enrolling at the University of Zimbabwe for his Law Degree.
    The award winning lawyer is a trainer in labour matters and has published Articles on labour matters as well as four books including the most quoted in academic circles, Alternative Dispute Resolution in Zimbabwe in 2013.
    Matsikidze sits on many boards and is a labour consultant and a trustee of the Law Society of Zimbabwe. 
    He is a holder of a Laws Honours Degree (LLB) and Master of Philosophy In Law from the UZ, Diploma in Bible Studies from Africa MultiNation For Christ College (AMFCC); he is also a lecturer in the faculty of Law at UZ, Community Working Group on Health board member, he sits on the board of examiners of the Estate Agents Council and the managing partner at Matsikidze and Mucheche Legal Practitioners among other different positions which he holds. 
    He is married to Edith Matsikidze.
    Matsikidze is a keen golf player and is passionate about writing and reading.
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