Thursday, January 5, 2012

Air Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s national airline is in the headlines again this week after the only plane still operational was grounded, due to technical faults. This continues a very troubled season for the management who are facing strong criticism for the financial failings at Air Zim.

Flights from Harare to Bulawayo and Victoria Falls were reportedly cancelled on Monday when the Boeing 737 aircraft developed a “glitch” in one of the engines, leaving passengers stranded.

Air Zim’s acting chief executive officer, Innocent Mavhunga, and board chairperson Jonathan Kadzura, have so far made no comment regarding the airline’s future. It is believed debts of at least $140 million are outstanding.

According to Newsday newspaper, the broken down plane could not be fixed because workers are currently on strike over unpaid salaries. A source reportedly said that most workers had not been paid for nearly six months.

Political and economic analyst Bekithemba Mhlanga told SW Radio Africa that blame for the airline’s demise “should be placed squarely on Robert Mugabe and the board of directors”. He referred to Mugabe’s constant use of the airline for personal trips and mismanagement by the board as the major reasons.
“We’ve reached a point where there should be either civil action or criminal liability against the management for their part in terms of how we got to this position,” Mhlanga explained. He added that the board never had a plan of action and should have forced privatization of the airline years ago.

A crisis developed a week before the holidays last month when creditors seized a plane at Gatwick Airport in London because Air Zim had failed to pay $1.5 million owed to an American spare parts company. Hundreds were stranded for over a week at the airport.

Earlier in the week Transport Minister Nicholas Goche ordered all its regional and international flights to be suspended, fearing seizure of the remaining aircraft by creditors.


  1. What gives value to travel is fear. It breaks down a kind of inner structure we all have.

  2. Remember what Bilbo used to say: It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.