#ZIMBABWEAIRWAYS OWNED BY GOVERNMENT SAYS FINANCE MINISTER WHEN RECEIVING THE PLANE
(Posted 12th April 2018)
‘I wish to categorically state the aeroplane that is outside there is the property and asset of the Government of Zimbabwe. I know speculation has been rife that the aircraft belonged to the former First Family. That is wrong and I am here to set the record straight. Simba Chikore, Former President Mugabe’s son-in-law, has no interests in the business, directly or indirectly‘ said Zimbabwe’s Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa when speaking after the arrival from Malaysia of the Boeing B777-200 at the international airport in Harare.
Information previously sources suggests that this is part of a four aircraft deal with Malaysian Airlines which has mothballed the planes. A second aircraft, also already painted in Zimbabwe Airways livery, is expected to be flown to Harare in due course.
The Minister’s statement puts to rest huge speculations over the ownership of the airline and the source of funding for the planes.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority CEO Karikoga Kaseke, who was also at the airport, sounded a word of caution when he said: ‘I urge you to put a very serious board in the airline and a serious management and everything will follow. I am one of the people who believed in the media reports. We are concerned because when you do not give us information we will have to believe the newspaper stories, in clear reference to the rumours which swept Harare for months at end about this saga.
Given the Finance Minister’s statement is now appears that the ownership of the aircraft is vested in the Zimbabwe Aviation Leasing Company, 100 percent owned by government, which in turn will lease it to Zimbabwe Airways Limited, also 100 percent owned by government.
Kaseke further expressed his hope that the aircraft will soon be deployed on the Harare to London route as no direct or nonstop flight present connect Zimbabwe with the UK – a major source market for tourist visitors to the country. He was also quoted saying that with more planes arriving routes to China and other overseas destinations could be opened up.
For other comments made by the Minister it can be expected that Air Zimbabwe, so far national airline, will be ‘given time‘ to resolve its debt situation without any clear commitment though that the airline will get a major financial bailout any time soon.