President Robert Mugabe and his family are alleged to be shareholders in Zimbabwe Airways, the company that is set to start operating soon. According to weekly publication, the Financial Gazette, Zimbabwe Airways is expected to be handed the licence to ply the lucrative London and Far East Routes.
Although Zimbabwean Airways is registered in Zimbabwe, its company records could not be located at the Company Registry. The airline is also reported to be registered in Mauritius, although a search for the company records returned a blank. The first family’s son-in-law Simba Chikore who is also the Chief Operating Officer at Air Zimbabwe is reported to have been heavily involved in the negotiations to acquire the aircraft from Malaysia. Zimbabwe Airways is set to get 4 Boeing 777-200ER planes from Malaysia Airlines. The Malaysian planes are twelve years old and a Boeing 777-200ER plane is currently listed at around $260 million.
It has also been reported that Air Zimbabwe COO Simba Chikore and Transport Minister Joram Gumbo are the only people involved in the deal with the rest of the Air Zimbabwe executives including suspended CEO Ripton Muzenda and the board in the dark.
Minister Gumbo refused to reveal the owners of the airline saying that it belongs to a consortium of Zimbabweans, some of whom are based outside the country. He said that he was involved in the negotiations for the planes on behalf of the private investors, something he said he is willing to do for any Zimbabwean willing to invest in aviation.