Norton legislator Temba Mliswa told Transport Minister Joram Gumbo that the government must invest in ZISCO and not Air Zimbabwe because ZISCO could in turn generate money to enable the government to revive the national airline.
He also said too much money had been poured into Air Zimbabwe in the past without turning around the airline so what guarantees did Gumbo have that things would work out this time.
Mliswa said Air Zimbabwe was also bogged down with nepotism so no foreign investor would want to plough money into a firm that was run along nepotistic lines.
“Nepotism does not attract investment. It is not professional in its nature. How is he going to circumvent that to attract the investment that is much needed for an airline which is known to be thriving on nepotism?” he said in an apparent reference to President Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikore.
Chikore married Mugabe’s daughter Bona in 2014 and was appointed Air Zimbabwe Chief Operations Officer last year but most people questioned his qualifications for the job.
Chikore is a qualified pilot.
HON. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would want to commend the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development for highlighting some of the challenges that Air Zimbabwe does face. I think the Hon. Minister will agree that this is not the first time that we hear of such challenges with Air Zimbabwe. Equally, it is not the first time that we hear of these challenges. Before he was in office, Air Zimbabwe was actually capitalized. So, the issue is that Government has tried to do as much as it can to try and capitalise Air Zimbabwe. We have a situation where he is not the first Minister to have been there. So, the question is, what were the other Ministers doing when we were having the number of directors he is talking about. What guarantee do we have that the way forward that he is proposing will work? We certainly and am glad he realises that the current economic situation would not allow an injection of $320 million into Air Zimbabwe when equally we are looking at putting money into sectors that we think produce. For example, you look at ZISCO Steel, they probably need $60m and what we will make from ZISCO Steel is more. What basically I am trying to say to the Minister is that there are certain projects that we must shelved until we get to a certain point and reinvest money into critical sectors of the economy like the production I am talking about in terms of ZISCO Steel that will generate more money for us to invest in Air Zimbabwe.
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