'Zimbabwe Airways planes deal above board'

'Zimbabwe Airways planes deal above board'
Published: 15 May 2018 (858 Views)
TRANSPORT and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo says the $70 million Malaysian plane deal will go a long way in improving the aviation industry and supporting efforts to open up the country to investment.

Last month, Government took delivery of the first Boeing 777 aircraft from Malaysia, which is part of an envisaged fleet of 10 aeroplanes to be managed under a new company tasked to boost the local aviation sector. The planes are owned by Government's wholly-owned special purpose vehicle, Zimbabwe Aviation Leasing Company, which in turn, is leasing the aircraft to Zimbabwe Airways.

Zimbabwe Airways is also owned by Government and was formed to give Air Zimbabwe time to come back to its feet and recover from its debts. The second Boeing that has already been paid for in Malaysia is also expected in the country before the end of the month, said Dr Gumbo.

Responding to questions in Parliament last Thursday, Dr Gumbo dismissed claims that Malaysian planes have a bad reputation, saying the deal was above board.

"Aeroplanes are made by Boeing and the people who allow people to buy airplanes are the ones that made them. I do not know that since I bought a Mercedes Benz, if I am involved in an accident then they should not be bought because they kill people.

"There has never been any aeroplane that has not been involved in a crash. What I read and what I remember in this country was because there were wars, one aeroplane was shot down and the other one has not been found. That same interpretation should not be applied to everything. There are several Boeing 777 that are flying the world over," he said.

Although it had been kept under wraps before delivery of the first Boeing 777, Dr Gumbo said the Malaysian plane deal was not a botched contract.

"It is a Government project, which is not dirty. It is clean and there were reasons why it was kept under wraps.

"It was just because we wanted to avoid the issue of them being impounded because if they had been exposed as Government of Zimbabwe planes, they would have been taken by the creditors who were claiming for money," he said.

In 2012, Air Zimbabwe was forced to suspend the Harare-London route by the London navigation agency over a $2,8 million debt it was failing to service due to operational challenges arising from a number of factors among them high operational costs, low load factors and a huge debt overhang amounting to $320 million.

Dr Gumbo also said the planes that the Government had bought from that Asian country had never been decommissioned.

"Malaysia sold its planes because it was superstitious and they had many other types of planes that they decided to dispose those ones," he said.

The four aircraft that Zimbabwe would secure from Malaysia were bought at a total cost of $70 million and the Government has paid $41 million with the balance of $29 million expected to be cleared soon.

"Just today, I requested the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning (Patrick Chinamasa) to assist us to pay that $29 million so that we can have the other two planes, which have not been paid for.

"The other two of the four planes have already been paid for. The other is going to be delivered in the next two weeks," said Dr Gumbo.

- the herald

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Zimbabwe complicates US policy with SADC

by Mmegi Online | 22 October 2018 | 17 Views

Ex-CIO RBZ director suspended again

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2018 | 47 Views

Mnangagwa, Chiwenga in tussle for RBZ

by ZimLive | 22 October 2018 | 59 Views

Lumumba's appointment declined by government

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2018 | 58 Views

Has anyone seen ED Mnangagwa?

by Sam Wezhira | 22 October 2018 | 67 Views

Tanzania ready to support Zimbabwe

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2018 | 48 Views

4 RBZ directors suspended over 'illicit financial deals'

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2018 | 49 Views

ZRP urges vigilance on new carjacking methods

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2018 | 42 Views

Man breaks leg, arm in suicide bid

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2018 | 117 Views

Chiwenga threatens Chiwenga

by ZimLive | 22 October 2018 | 198 Views

RBZ captured by black market forex dealers, says Lumumba

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2018 | 159 Views

Mthuli Ncube's 2% tax court challenge dismissed

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2018 | 116 Views

Soldiers robbed

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2018 | 127 Views

P0rn stars not fit to be employed in govt offices - Ruhanya

by Stephen Jakes | 22 October 2018 | 113 Views

Wadyajena blasts Modi, Mthuli for indicating right while turning left

by Stephen Jakes | 22 October 2018 | 141 Views

MDC hijacked by dictators - Mpofu

by Stephen Jakes | 22 October 2018 | 113 Views

Chamisa 'Pfee' in fuel queue

by Stephen Jakes | 22 October 2018 | 93 Views

Of prophets-cum-political activists

by Nicole Hondo | 22 October 2018 | 81 Views

Mthuli Ncube should prioritise MDC MPs, says Mliswa

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2018 | 95 Views

Zifa complicit in Dembare disgrace!

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2018 | 99 Views

Minister voices concern over Lumumba appointment

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2018 | 96 Views

Birds of a feather, Mthuli Ncube flock with Lumumba?

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2018 | 88 Views

Political lessons from the village

by Anthony Mkondo | 22 October 2018 | 78 Views

PHOTOS: Black market cooking oil dealer in kombi crash

by Simbarashe Sithole | 22 October 2018 | 390 Views

Zimbabwean 'Ninja' honoured in Italy

by Agencies | 22 October 2018 | 147 Views

Mnangagwa's patience with Mangudya wearing thin

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2018 | 278 Views

Zimbabwe 'soldiers' invade shops, impose own prices

by newzimbabwe | 22 October 2018 | 292 Views

My question to Finance Minister - I smell a rat!

by Isaac Nkomah | 22 October 2018 | 201 Views

United Methodist Church embarks on clean-up campaign in Mvurwi

by Simbarashe Sithole | 22 October 2018 | 111 Views

Why Mnangagwa doesn't have the answers

by Robert Rotberg, Harvard University | 22 October 2018 | 198 Views

Luxury cars for ex-Mugabe loyalists

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2018 | 174 Views

Mnangagwa's Cabinet: The skeletons are tumbling

by Tawanda Majoni | 22 October 2018 | 241 Views

Guruve vendors denounce local council

by Simbarashe Sithole | 22 October 2018 | 112 Views

Chiwenga goes down memory lane

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2018 | 170 Views