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Govt Did Not Pay $200k For Mnangagwa Fly Africa Charter To SA: Gumbo Clarifies On $10 000 Claim By Fly Africa

Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Joram Gumbo has insisted that the government did not pay $200 000 to Fly Africa Airline for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s chartered flight to South Africa last week. The minister said he was not responsible for chartering flights and that he had only mentioned the $200 000 amount as the government had been prepared to pay at least that amount for the charter. Gumbo also accused Fly Africa airline of “failing to understand English” after the airline claimed that it had only charged the government $10 000 for the flight. The airline went as far as writing to the print publication, The Standard, asking them to retract statements made Gumbo in an earlier interview saying they implied that the airline had overcharged the government.  Speaking to the Standard, Gumbo said:

When I mentioned $200 000 in the interview, it was an example of the money we were prepared to pay or even more to ensure that the president would go to South Africa at the same time without inconveniencing Air Zimbabwe and its clients.

It is unfortunate that people at Fly Africa failed to read simple English. I did not say we paid $200 000 or gave a specific figure paid, but I said we opted to charter a private airline for any amount even $200 000 or more so long we were not going to disturb Air Zimbabwe.

It is the duty of the Office of the President and Cabinet to do the bookings for the president and I was speaking from a policy perspective.

It is only that office and the concerned airline who can tell us about the amounts involved, but it must be noted that hiring a plane is not as cheap as people want to portray.

There has been intense media speculation on the amount paid for the chartered flight to South Africa after some reports had claimed that President Emmerson Mnangagwa had flown in the economy class.

More: The Standard

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