The Movement for Democratic Change has expressed disgust at the way the national airline, Air Zimbabwe, is run and is now asking who actually owns Zimbabwe Airways which, reports say, is going to take over the lucrative London-Harare routes once operated by Air Zimbabwe.
Party spokesman Obert Gutu said Parliament must investigate the national airline and especially who owns Zimbabwe Airways.
“The MDC is deeply concerned by the continued bleeding of our national pride, Air Zimbabwe Corporation. From having a tradition of caring in the early years soon after independence, Air Zimbabwe has now assumed the dubious distinction of having a tradition of scaring; a sordid and deplorable reputation where flights are routinely delayed and/or cancelled and passengers are forced to travel aboard old, dilapidated and noisy aircraft,” Gutu said.
He said at independence Air Zimbabwe had 14 fairly new aircraft but today it has only four serviceable aircraft.
Gutu said Air Zimbabwe was now single-handedly being run by President Robert Mugabe’s son=-in-law Simba Chikore after the suspension of chief executive Ripton Muzenda. Bu what was more disturbing was the proposed entry of Zimbabwe Airways.
“What the hell is Zimbabwe Airways? Who owns this private airline company? Is the Mugabe family not the actual and beneficial shareholders of Zimbabwe Airways?” he asks.
“Recent press reports have disclosed that Zimbabwe Airways has clinched a multi – million dollars deal in terms of which the privately – owned airline will be leasing four long – haul Boeing 777 aircraft from Malaysia Airlines.
“This deal stinks to high heavens. At a time when Air Zimbabwe is virtually on its knees and is burdened by a colossal debt of no less than US$300 million, Transport Minister Joram Gumbo and the Air Zimbabwe de facto boss, Simba Chikore, are busy wheeling and dealing on behalf of and for the benefit of a privately – owned airline, Zimbabwe Airways.”
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