The Commonwealth University in collaboration with London Graduate School has conferred combative Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Chief Executive Karigoka Kaseke with an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration.
This is in recognition of Kaseke’s exceptional contribution to tourism, in Zimbabwe, Africa and the world. The convocation was done at a colorful ceremony held in Dubai, recently.
In the citation sent through the London Graduate School, the awarding institution says, “you (Kaseke) have been invited because we recogniZe your exceptionally meritorious contribution in your field.
‘In recognition of your achievements the Commonwealth University proposes to award you the Honorary Doctorate Degree as part of activities combined with your participation in this potentially rewarding Top Leadership Seminar.’
In the same communication, the institution further noted that, “the Honorary Doctorate Degree Award of the Commonwealth is a unique award that is especially reserved for personalities who have distinguished themselves in society through service, selflessness and other outstanding contributions through which the lives of many have been touched positively.”
Yesterday, Dr Kaseke said he was actually surprised to receive the news.
“I was actually surprised that some people, far away from the theatre of my work, recognized the good work I am doing. I did not know of the Commonwealth University although I have heard something about the London Graduate School.
“I am excited and humbled to be the one to be conferred with this Doctorate. I believe they saw something exceptionally good about the way I work in promoting the brand, Zimbabwe A world of Wonders,’’ he said.
True to the affirmation by the Commonwealth University, Dr Kaseke has proved an enigma, trudging the length and breadth of the world, leaving Zimbabwe’s foot-marks all over. His shrewdness, combativeness and perceptive strategies in driving national tourism development, has won him regional and global attention, a fact manifested by the growth in tourism arrival statistics and general stability in the sector.
When he herded cattle in the bush shrubbery behind the rustic villages in yonder Mhondoro as a spike-haired youth, no one ever thought Dr Kaseke would become a household name, let alone conquer the world. Today, whatever he touches works! He is a hands on Chief Executive who has dramatically transformed the ZTA to a vibrant, strategy focused and results driven National Tourism Body.
The Chief, as he is aptly known in the tourism industry, has never applied for a job in his entire life. His is a history of appointment, posting and re-assignment in the civil and public service thus re-affirming that he is, indeed a Public Servant by calling.
Dr Karikoga Kaseke was appointed Chief Executive of the ZTA July 2005 on reassignment from the Ministry of Transport and Communications, where he was the Permanent Secretary. During the first year of his appointment he made a great impact and demonstrated excellent leadership qualities for the country’s tourist board and the tourism sector at large.
At the ZTA he has built a winning team of motivated staff. He led the development of a Corporate Turnaround Strategy for the organisation and ensured that the entity was re-energized to be able to deliver on its mandate.
Mr Kaseke is a Board member of the WHO’S WHO Advisory Board as “an honor bestowed to only a few elite members of the who’s who historical society. The who’s who historical society, an international society of professionals selected Mr K Kaseke to its memberships a “testament of (His) professional, academic and civic achievements”
What makes him tick, is his frankness which is highly unusual with such magnanimous and legendary achievers. Dr Kaseke has dedicated most of his Awards to the staff at the ZTA. He acknowledges the essence of team work which is one of the core values of the organisation.
When the history of tourism is finally written in Zimbabwe, the name Karikoga Kaseke shall forever be inscribed in the epitaph, as that of one of the few men, who landscaped Zimbabwe’s tourism tapestries.
Kaseke a graduate from the University of Zimbabwe holds five Masters Degrees in the fields of Administration, Tourism, Transport and Aviation. He is currently pursuing another Doctorate in Business Administration with the Binary University of Malaysia.