Friday, 03 November 2017
Air Zimbabwe rot must be investigated
Something is definitely not right at Air Zimbabwe Corporation. At independence in April 1980, Air Zimbabwe, formed from the ashes of Air Rhodesia, inherited no less than fourteen (14) fairly new aircraft. Thirty seven (37) years down the line, Air Zimbabwe has been vandalized and ransacked to such an extent that there are only just about four (4) serviceable aircraft that are owned by the national airline.
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.
Recent events at Air Zimbabwe literally read like a horror movie story line. One Simba Chikore, the son – in – law of President Robert Mugabe, is virtually in charge of the national airline, Air Zimbabwe, at the moment. The Chief Executive Officer, Captain Ripton Muzenda, has been suspended from employment under extremely shadowy and suspicious circumstances. As if this was not enough, Transport Minister Joram Gumbo is being very edgy and conservative with the actual details and reasons surrounding Captain Muzenda’s suspension from employment. The whole incident smacks of a complete dog’s breakfast.
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? 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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