Page Nav




Classic Header


Top Ad

Advertise Here

Breaking News:


#ZimAirwaysSaga: The Good, Bad and Ugly Facts

Harare - As more facts regarding the secretive Zimbabwe Airways saga continue to trickle in, the media has gathered the good, bad and ugly ...

Harare - As more facts regarding the secretive Zimbabwe Airways saga continue to trickle in, the media has gathered the good, bad and ugly facts as far as the deals are concerned. 

Interestingly, the people supposed to safeguard the nations's heritage, seems to have p;plundered the country's resources at will - and now are at pains to offer the whole truth but have resorted to weave a chain of lies to try to wiggle out of public scrutiny.   

However, the prying eyes of the world remain focused to the ongoing shenanigans, that have sucked politicians, former president Robert Mugabe - and a host of other serving and dismissed ministers.  

And below are all the good, bad and ugly facts 

The good
Official records state the owners of Zimbabwe Airways are a group of Zimbos in the diaspora trading as the Zimbabwe Aviation Leasing Company (ZALC). One Boeing 777 arrived this week with registration number Z-RGM.

The ZALC is registered under file number 3015/12 at the Deeds Office. The records for Directors have however proved hard to get. The planes include four Boeing 777 bought in Malaysia and two Embraer ERJ145 bought from the United States.

The planes are second hand – machines 12 years old. Rumour says the deal to acquire the planes for Zimbabwe Airways was struck in 2016 when former Pres Mugabe visited Malaysia. And Zimbabwe Airways will start with a clean slate for the government with no debt.
Robert Mugabe's Son-in-law is heavily Linked to the ZimAirways Saga

Documents show there was nothing done under cover as the purchase agreement openly indicates government bought the airliners on behalf of AirZim, suggesting the sanctions-busting narrative was a convenient smokescreen to cover their tracks.

The bad
The main and visible protagonists of the deal are Minister of Transport Joram Gumbo and former Air Zimbabwe Chief Operating Officer and Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikoore.

According to Minister Chinamasa the government will retain ownership of the used aircraft from Malaysia Airlines and lease them to a state-owned company to be named Zimbabwe Airlines, as the state-owned Air Zimbabwe “develops a credible business plan,” Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told reporters in the capital, Harare.

Air Zimbabwe, which will have to die a natural gradual death, has only 3 operating planes, is making an almost $3 million loss per month, has a $300 million debt whilst its banned from operating in the EU.

Investigations reveal that the new airline secured ex-Malaysia Airlines B777-200 (ER) 9M-MRP (msn 28421), and was air tested at Malaysia’s Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport. The saga has also sucked in Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa who on Wednesday tried to clear the air over the issue, together with Gumbo, although their intervention only managed to provoke more questions than answers.

The ugly
Gumbo and Chinamasa’s explanation was that the four Boeing 777-200 were bought from Malaysia Airlines through their sole agent PricewaterhouseCoopers Kuala Lumpur, but are now being leased to ZimAirways via the Zimbabwe Aviation Leasing Company (ZALC). 

They claimed ZimAirways and ZALC are owned by government. But Gumbo had always maintained they are private companies owned by Zimbabwean Diasporans. Chinamasa said government formed the new entities linked to Gumbo and former president Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikore as a sanctions-busting measure.

Gumbo for his party did not explain why he had been telling government ZimAirways was a government project, yet publicly insisting it was a private entity.

Initially Gumbo told the Independent ZimAirways was privately-owned by lawyers living outside the country and he was only facilitating the purchase of four Boeing 777 planes from Malaysia on behalf of the airline’s shareholders ZALC.

However, Chinamasa, who officiated at the delivery of one of the aircraft on Wednesday, said Zim Airways was wholly-owned by government contrary to Gumbo’s remarks. He also said ZALC was a government special purpose vehicle.

The facts
Aviation expert associated with ZimAirways Jerry Haas, who has been consistently posting accurate information on the project, also said the airline was a private entity.

Documents gleaned by the Independent and investigations show in October 2016 government entered into an agreement with the Malaysian Airline System Berha for the sale and purchase of four Boeing 777-200ER aircraft with manufacturer’s serial numbers 29066, 29066, 28421 and 28422.

The agreement was signed by Gumbo and former Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa on October 10, 2016. In the terms and conditions of this agreement also signed by Lim San Peen of Malaysia, the parties agreed “the aircraft are made available for sale on the basis they are solely to be used for commercial aviation purposes. The intended operator of the aircraft is Air Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd.”

The initial arrangement was that two of the Rolls Royce-powered planes would cost US$16,5 million each, while the other two would be bought for US$18,5 million apiece, bringing the total to US$70 million.

But Gumbo and his associates later decided to buy two Boeing 777s for US$18,5 million and US$16,5 million, a total of US$35 million. It was also later resolved to buy two Embraers for US$6 million using Treasury Bills. This brought the total of the revised deal to US$41 million.

However, documents show that even if the planes were brought under AirZim’s name, the flag carrier’s board and management were later kept in the dark after their initial involvement.

The players
Chinamasa did not produce documents to back his account. Aviation sources told the Independent that ZimAirways is yet to be registered as a carrier even though government claims it is already leasing planes from AirZim via ZALC.

Haas said on microblogging site Twitter ZimAirways flying code is 0000000, “symbolising triple 7 with 7 zeroes”. The airline is not yet registered, further raising questions over why government was dealing with an unregistered entity. 

Experts say it could two months for the airline to have its flying code, although it now doubtful it will be ever be registered given government’s claims it owned by AirZim.

Although Gumbo said it was a private company, official documents show ZimAirways directors are Transport ministry officials who include Legal Affairs head Angeline Karonga and principal director Eric Gumbi. Last week Karonga denied she was not linked to the airline.

Documents also show Harare lawyer Phillipa Phillips is one of the two ZALC directors, together with another lawyer Gift Watinaye. It is not clear why the lawyers are representing government interests there, if Chinamasa’s explanation is anything to go by.

To add to the mystery and confusion, sources also said ZimAirways was operating from former Psmas manager Mavis Gumbo’s Gletwin house. But Mavis Gumbo denied this yesterday. An enquiry with the Deeds Office in Harare indicated ZALC was registered under file number 3015/12. The file was, however, missing from the office, although information is now filtering out through other channels.

The documents further show that while AirZim was initially involved in the purchase of the Boeing aircrafts, government later side-lined it along the way as shown by a series of correspondences between the airline and government officials. AirZim officials were kept in the dark after the planes order was made. - Online Sources

Tinzwei Is A Worth Voyage For Those In Pursuit For Up-To-Date World Events.

Read More At The Online Coronavirus Portal Or Use The 24-Hour Public Hotline:
South Africa: 0800 029 999 or just Send Hie to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp

No comments