President Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law and Air Zimbabwe Chief Operating Officer (COO) Simba Chikore has resigned from the struggling national airliner. Chikore who is married to Mugabe’s daughter Bona was the airline’s defacto Chief Executive Officer after Ripton Muzenda, the son of Mugabe’s late, long-serving deputy Simon Muzenda was forced out for allegedly defying a board resolution to retrench over 200 workers.
Chikore is reported to have resigned a few days before his in-laws were put under house arrest by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces after the military seized power from Mugabe.
Transport Minister Joram Gumbo confirmed the resignation saying:
He resigned some time ago this year. I do not know why he resigned. You have to ask him for you to know that.
Chikore was appointed the airlines’ Chief Operating Officer last year in a move which was described as nepotism by critics. Chikore has also been linked with Zimbabwe Airways which is alleged to be owned by the first family.
Reports say that Simba Chikore and Transport Minister Joram Gumbo were the only people involved in the negotiations to acquire 4 Boeing 777-200ER planes from Malaysia Airlines which were to be used by Zimbabwe Airlines.
More: The Standard